TFC Pathanapuram, already playing in the first division at Kollam, had their soft launch at the Kollam press club last week. The club directors gave an insight about the future plans of the club.
Formed in 1981, Town Football Club, Pathanapuram was aimed at providing the youth in the surrounding areas an opportunity to participate in organized soccer/football and to compete at the highest level in Central Kerala Region and subsequently in the highest level of club football in the country.
The club conducted a 10 days residential coaching camp for players from all over Kerala in July 09 to induct new players for their senior team. This was under the supervision of ex-international K Anson and current India U-16 coach Feroz Sheriff. The selected 26 member squad has an average age of 20 years.TFC also has U-9, U-16 and U-13 teams and has established an academy to develop grass root football.
“It’s important that there has to be involvement from ex international/senior players in every phase of football development programmes in Kerala. Unlike other clubs, TFC reached out to a number of senior players from Kerala, seeking guidance and support to form a professional club with proper ground work being done. ” said ex-Indian International player, Feroz Sheriff who is currently Indian U 16 football team coach.
Talking to the media during the press conference, TFC Chief Executive, Mr. Varun Chandran said “TFC aims to develop and establish a platform for the youth in kerala to actively participate in football, thereby enabling them to play in the highest competitive and professional level of football in the country. This will be achieved by organised and scientific coaching from the grassroot level with the assistance of professional coaches, players, educational assistance and medical insurance to the players, introducing monthly wages and by enabling the team to compete in age group tournaments and national level championships. ”
“The short term goal of the team is to win Kollam district A Div, entry to NFL Div2 and other state/national tournaments. The long term goal is to become a leading professional football club in India, representing Kerala and win back the football goodwill of our state”
Taking to FootballKerala.com, Mr. Varun Chandran added that the club would be prioritising youth development and would look forward to recruit players from Kerala itself. “We are looking forward to sign few good foreign players once we qualify for the I-league 2, this includes a French player playing in Singapore and two players from Nigeria, but the core of the team will have players from Kerala”.
The club has managed to raise a good amount this year with help of sponsorship from various companies and NRI associations from Singapore and USA. A Club House has been established in their home town of Pathanapuram and the club is currently looking forward to get their entry to I-league 2. The other targets set by the club officials include the participation in the next edition of Durand Cup and Federation cup.
“Kollam DFA is glad to present TFC, the first professional football club from the southern region of Kerala. DFA extends all its support and best wishes to TFC and hope to see the team perform at the national level. Kollam DFA would be working closely with TFC to provide all the support the club needs for the development of football in the region and bring back the past glory of our football history” said Kollam Distrct FA secretary Mr. K Gangadharan after officially releasing the club website www.tfcpathanapuram.com .
The club has also decided to conduct a football carnival in December 2009 which will include try outs, skill contests, football tournament and a workshop on football.
FootballKerala.com wishes TFC Pathanapuram the best and hope their efforts will turn out to be a wake up call for all other clubs in Kerala to go professional in a truly professional way.