ISL 2018/19: Sunil Chhetri scores a goal against 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid, Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu all took to the same pitch.
What’s the story?
Former Indian cricket team skipper Rahul Dravid, who is also the ambassador for ISL franchise Bengaluru FC was spotted donning the goalkeeper gloves during an award ceremony at the Bangalore Football stadium. Dravid was present as part of the ‘Boost Play The Pros’ event, a city-wide talent identification program held by the club authorities.
Dravid and club skipper Sunil Chhetri handed out year-long scholarships to the winners. Ten-year-old Guru Kiran and 13-year-old Monica N. were hand-picked by the club’s youth coaching staff and will receive training under BFC coaches for a year.
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Boost, a popular energy drink for kids, and BFC had joined hands earlier this year to develop and cultivate football talent at the grassroots level. They have organized an inter-school Soccer Shield which saw over 60 schools from the city participating across the three age categories.
Boost and BFC also conducted a coach education program where football coaches were given an opportunity to take part in the AFC ‘C’ License course which was conducted for the first time in the city.
The heart of the matter
At the event, Dravid thrilled onlookers by taking part in a friendly game of football. The veteran Indian, who has spent a chunk of his career behind the stumps, asked Gurpreet Singh Sandhu for his goalkeeping gloves.
During the friendly, BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri scored against Dravid and looked ecstatic as he said, “That is going up on my bio.”
Aside from taking on Chhetri and his mates in a friendly match, Dravid also interacted with around 200 young enthusiasts, handing them pointers on fitness and nutrition in sports.
Bengaluru FC has enjoyed a mixed last season. The Blues narrowly missed out on winning the ISL but made up for it by winning the flagship Indian Super Cup.
Albert Roca’s men are currently busy with the AFC Cup group stage. Having lost their previous fixture against New Radiant SC, the Blues will be determined to get back to winning ways when they take on the fellow Indian side, Aizawl FC on May 2.
Awarding year-long scholarships to young footballers is a wonderful gesture on behalf of the club. The recognition will act as a catalyst and inspire more such passionate footballers to take up the sport, and in the process improve the footballing landscape at the grassroots level.