Pune based club DSK Shivajians become latest I-league addition
The ninth season of the I-league that commences on January 9 will see the entry of a new team, DSK Shivajians. DSK, founded in 1987, will be the tenth club to play in the I-league this year. Managed by Derrick Periera, the team will play their first match in Goa against Sporting FC on January 17.
"We are very excited to take our first steps into the I-League. We have made significant additions to the squad, with players with international pedigree and I-League experience joining the team. Our team has shown strong work ethic over the pre-season. The hard work and dedication shown by the players has been commendable. We hope that we can make Pune proud with an impressive outing,” said the former Salgaocar coach said.
With Bharat FC and Pune FC shutting their first teams, DSK is the sole team representing Pune in the I-league this year.
DSK played their first ever season of National Football in the 2013 season of the second division of the I-league. The 119 year old club has been playing in the Pune Super Division since 1989.
English club Liverpool FC had announced a partnership with DSK Shivajians to start their international football academy in India in 2014. Shirish Kulkarni, the chairman of the club alongside Ardeshir Jeejebhoy, CEO of Liverpool International Football Academy DSK-Shivajians, held a meeting with All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel at Mumbai in October to discuss the modalities of the direct entry of the club in the I-League.
The DSK group, a business conglomerate is excited with the entry of their football team in the I-league. Kulkarni said, "This is a proud moment for the DSK Group and DSK Shivajians Football Club as the club prepares to participate in the I-League. It marks the progression of the club over the period of time. To share the stage with some of the biggest names in Indian football will be a matter of great pride for everyone involved with the club.”
DSK Shivajians boasts of an impressive record in local and regional tournaments. “Our state-of-the-art infrastructure and our continued investment in our first team and academy finds us in a position where we are confident of taking the right steps towards establishing DSK Shivajians as one of the leading football clubs in India, with best practices both on and off the pitch,” Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy, CEO of the club said in an interview.