Saturday, Sep 16, 2023 06:15 [IST]
Last Update: Saturday, Sep 16, 2023 00:38 [IST]
GANGTOK,: For the first time, a Sikkim football team is playing against an Indian Super League (ISL) team.
Sikkim Premier League champions Sikkim Aakraman FC will play a friendly match against Jamshedpur FC at Jamshedpur on September 19 just before the start of the ISL season.
A 25-member squad has been selected for this match, comprising top players from all eight teams in the Sikkim Premier League. Two players in the squad are from Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
“Aakraman FC would like to thank the State government and Chief Minister PS Golay for promoting football in Sikkim. Football Development Pvt Ltd is the brain child of the CM, with support of the directors Nirmal Chettri, Sanju Pradhan, Nim Tshering Lepcha, Bikash Jairu and Robin Gurung. The directors have been instrumental in bringing football back in Sikkim and this time they have given the SPL champions an opportunity to play a friendly match against one of the ISL giants,” said Aakraman FC co-founder Sonam Gyaltsen Tenzing.
“We are well-prepared for the match because this is one of the biggest opportunities for the Sikkimese footballers. Some of the boys from the team who play exceptionally in the friendly match will be picked up by national teams,” he added.
FDPL director Bikash Jairu said, “ISL players play only with the best teams, but we got connected with Jamshedpur FC via SPL. It was a good opportunity for the local players, and we would like to thank the CM for the opportunity. To go to Jamshedpur and play is a big thing for a Sikkimese team. As I have played with Jamshedpur FC for three years, I have been briefing our players on how to play with big teams.”
Jairu thanked Jamshedpur FC for providing the opportunity and hoped on working together in the future.
“This is a big platform for the upcoming players from the State. If the players give their best performance and are selected for big teams, their future is set. We wish the team the best of luck. We also like to thank Aakraman for the good response,” added Nim Tshering.
The average age of the Aakraman FC players for the friendly is 23-24 years.