India Football Tour: Interview with the finalists 'Al-Fateh'
Excerpts from a discussion with the finalists 'Al-Fateh' from Bangalore.
#1 How excited are you for the finals?
Pretty pumped up and excited, we'll get to play against our neighbouring cities and moreover, we'll get to experience the way players play their game in other cities. Representing your city as a 5-a-side squad for a chance to be India's 5-a-side team. You can only imagine how excited we are for such a wonderful opportunity.
#2 How have you been preparing for the finals?
We've been practising on our tactics and set pieces as it's an advantage in futsal, we are making sure that we imply new tactics so that we can even win the World Cup in China.
#3 What sets your team apart?
We are a family more than individual players, we have more understanding between us which is more than enough.
#4 Players in your team to watch out for and why?
Hmmm. There are many but I will mention a few Adil (GK) is a surprise attacker. Nikhil Das is our defence wall and also an All rounder, he can play any position.
#5 How has the experience with IFT been - “Quotes from individual players”
Muheeb: Firstly the organisers are highly experienced, loved the way they'd organised the whole tournament especially the rolls from Faasos were very delicious, haha. Overall it was the best tournament ever played.
Nihal Colaco: Spent the entire day playing football and winning the chance to represent Bangalore and hopefully India in the IFT. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER
Nikhil Das: It was wild
#6 History of your club/team. How it all started? How has the journey been?
Our team journey started from the brownish muddy ground near our house, where we used to spend 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening playing football with the local boys, we never had a team but we had love for the game! Until Ajaz Ahmed our mentor/founder (team’s striker player/manager) found out that there are tournaments conducted every Friday in XLR8 (first indoor 5-a-side stadium in Bangalore).
So he happened to get us all in one team, a team of 5 – including Ajaz bhai we were 6! When we were just 15 years old! And our team name was EMDEE reebok at that time, he had a tough time explaining to our parents as the tournament used to start at 10 in the night and used to go on till 3 am.
In that tournament there used to be 60 teams, 2 divisions. A division for the top teams and B division for the weak teams, and we always used to struggle to even qualify for division B for 1 whole consecutive year and I still remember the top teams which used to play in that tournament, we used to admire them so much! Until we finally started playing as a team.
We built a team of teenagers, not a single person was above 17 years.
Once, after a year of struggle, Ajaz bhai left us to play alone, and we finally started racking up trophies at home, with 59 trophies which we won at Xlr8. Then we started playing the tournaments across Bangalore, and Al-Fateh is the name of our team which every footballer in Bangalore is familiar with, because we love the game and moreover our team is not just a team, it's a FAMILY!
And now that Ajaz bhai is back with his passion and love for the game, the Al-Fateh family is stronger with his support we would love to take Al-Fateh to different heights.