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Adventure in the Country of Blue Tigers

Started on 19 August 2013 by abir_dc
Latest Reply on 26 August 2013 by Walter
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abir_dc's avatar Group abir_dc
10 yearsEdited

Alfaz Ahmed Meets the Media

J- Journalist

Alfaz- Alfaz Ahmed

J- Welcome to HAL! You are sitting here as the new HAL manager. Are you excited to be here?

Alfaz- Yes, very much. I am quite happy that the president has trusted me to lead this club forward. HAL is one of the biggest clubs of Bangalore and I hope to keep them in right track.

J- Will you be concentrating solely on the Third Division, or will you be focusing on the state league too?

Alfaz- I would say both. We were pretty disappointing in Bangalore Super Division last season. I want the team to improve our position in the state league form last season. And winning our group in Third Division is necessary to get promoted, so it will get my equal priority.

J- You are in this job without knowing Hindi. Do you think it may cause you a problem?

Alfaz- No, not so much as I don't think it is really necessary to know the language. But I will still try to learn the language as soon as possible.

J- What do you think of the squad? Do you think you need to strengthen it?

Alfaz- I still haven't met the players. They are still on holiday. Although, I got some feedback from my backroom staff about the players, I want to assess them myself in pre-season and bring necessary change if needed.

J- What kind of football would you want your side to play?

Alfaz- Football is all about entertainment and that's what I intend to provide for the HAL fans.

J- Where do you think you'll be able to lead your team to this season?

Alfaz- Well, its quite difficult to say. Nobody knows what can happen in the course of the season, nothing is certain in football. However, if we can play like we are predicted to play, then I am sure it won't be much problem in achieving promotion. We just need to believe in ourselves and the fans need to show their utmost support to the team.

J- Alright, thank you for answering my question, Alfaz. Good luck to you and HAL.

Alfaz- Thank you very much.
abir_dc's avatar Group abir_dc
10 yearsEdited

Sitting in a not so comfortable chair in his office, Alfaz Ahmed tried to recall the meeting he just had with club President Ashok Nayak and Director K.R.M. Reddy.

Alfaz agreed to a contract of €575 per week, which was good enough for him for a semi-professional job. The contract is only for one year though

It was pleasing to him that the club don't carry any loans or debts and have a positive budget of €14k. But Mr. Ashok Nayak still wasn't cheery about it as he pointed out he lost about €36k last season, and he was expecting even worse this season. The wage bill was already a huge one, €2,131 per week, when he was asked to keep it below €2,387 per week.

Then he turned to a discussion about the transfer budget, and it was told to Alfaz that the club could not afford to allow us any transfer funds due to the precarious financial state. He would be allowed only 5% of the total transfer revenue.

Then Alfaz decided to take a look at the Stadium and club facilities with the President. While the stadium is pretty big for this level and the field condition is good, the overall condition is average and it does not have any corporate facility.

The training ground appeared fairly basic to him, but he would love to improve it if the financial condition was under control. When Alfaz asked the President about youth facility, he actually chuckled and told him straight, "This ground is our YOUTH facility!" With this minimal youth facility, and also the club being a semi-pro one, Alfaz didn't know how he could develop any young player properly. Well, there goes his dream of developing the next "Baichung Bhutia".

Finally, they discussed about the matter of expectation. That was quite frankly, quickly done. The club expects him to win both the Third Division and the Bangalore Super Division. That is their minimum expectation and they would expect nothing less. "Tough days are awaiting", Alfaz Ahmed thought after the meeting.

It has been a few days already. Although Alfaz Ahmed did not have much work to do, as the players were still in holiday.

President Ashok Nayak introduced him to his assistant Satish Caiado after the meeting. Alfaz Ahmed had a short conversation with him where they talked about the squad's ability and potential. Caiado promised him to give a report regarding the team. He also asked Alfaz to come to the club next day to meet all other stuffs.

The next day, Alfaz met with all his other stuffs and they talked about various topics. Needless to say, he was not impressed with them.

Although Assistant manager Satish Caiado seemed like a disciplined and determined guy, he did not look tactically creative and he doesn't coach particularly well.

The Chief Scout was Mario Singh, and one short conversation with him left Alfaz convinced that he knew more about judging player potential than Mario did. No reason to call yourself the “Chief” if you’re the only scout at the club.

The team manager and Director of Football was M. Muralidharan. Although he was pretty experienced, Alfaz did not find any good thing about him. He also did not understand the necessity of having a director of football at this level. Not to mention he was earning a whooping €375 per week.

Then he met the Head Physio K.Thiagarajan. He reminded Alfaz about the village quacks he heard so much about. Enjoys being called the “Head” physio despite being the only one contracted to the team.

The ones that impressed him was Under 18 Head Coach Naru Gopal Ghosh and Head of Youth Development Inacio Singh. Alfaz decided to trust them to develop their youngsters.

Their was not any coach in the club. The board allowed him to hire two coaches and one extra scout. Alfaz decided to request the board him to allow him to sign another physio, which they declined because of lack of fund.

By the end of the day, the contract of M. Muralidharan and K.Thiagarajan were mutually terminated. Alfaz then asked Satish Caiado to give him options about recruiting new coaches, physios and scouts.
abir_dc's avatar Group abir_dc
10 yearsEdited

After getting options from Satish, Alfaz decided to quickly terminate the contract of him. It looked harsh, but to improve the club, he needed to be harsh sometimes.

Assistant Manager- Paul Anthony
Obviously not the perfect choice to be assistant manager, but he was the best and most affordable one Alfaz could find.

Physio- Vishnu Nair
A rather expensive one, but he was the only one that did not look like a quack.

Coach- Ryan D'Souza
Preferred the 'Physio' job, but Alfaz considered him to be better off as a coach because of attacking, defense and fitness coaching attribute. A little bit of bargaining was enough to persuade him to be the coach instead of being physio of the club.

Coach- Surojit Chattaerjee
He was by far the best in goalkeeping coaching he could find.

Scout-R.Amulraj and Sujit Fernandes
Best scouts Alfaz could find. Both preferred coaching job, but their judgement of players ability and potential persuaded Alfaz to sign them as scouts.



Staff Roster

Alfaz asked the board to expand their scouting range, but teh board declined because of low fund. Alfaz will be only allowed to scout within India. There goes his hope of strengthening the side with foreign players.
Don't see many stories like this. Good luck.
abir_dc's avatar Group abir_dc
10 yearsEdited

After initial introduction with the players was done, Alfaz spent the rest of the day with the squad handing them a four hour training session. By the time the training session was finished, Alfaz identified the players that were going to be instrumental in their campaign.

Sarabjeet Singh
He has top flight experience with now defunct team JCT for three seasons. He joined HAL last season and already became a fan favorite. Not the best in the division, but certainly the best center back the club has. He will be the first choice center back.

Y Jailkumar
The utility man of the squad. He will be the first choice right back, and can slot into other positions on injury crisis. Has been with HAL for seven seasons.

The best wide player of the club. Although looked a little selfish while playing.

R. C. Prakash
This veteran forward is the only international player of the squad. Won 7 caps for the country. Played for the likes of Dempo, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Salgaocar, Churchill Brothers, almost all big clubs of India. Alfaz hoped his experience would be vital in their campaign.

However, it also became clear that there were some problems in the squad. The biggest weakness was in the goalkeeping department. Alfaz knew in this level, the importance of a good shot stopper is even greater. First choice goalkeeper Amar Dev was not simply that. He was pretty bad in one on one and even Alfaz got better reflex than him. This is an area that must need strengthening.

Another problem was the lack of depth in striker department. There was only one recognized striker in the squad apart from R. C. Praksh. That was Praveen Kumar. While he was not bad and last season's top scorer, Alfaz thought he needed a better striker who would provide competition for Praveen.

So recruiting a new goalkeeper and a new striker was a must. Problem was, there was hardly any wage budget available.
abir_dc's avatar Group abir_dc
10 yearsEdited

Third Division Transfers: HAL sign former Dempo Striker

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore have snapped up former Dempo and Raia SC striker Savio Fernandes. This is the top signing for the Bangalore based club in this season after they snapped up youngster Varin Kamble and Jimmy Pradhan.

Savio Fernandes,24 spent last season with Third Division club Raia SC, scoring 8 goals for them in the season. It is not still clear why Raia SC let him leave free, but experts are speculating that Savio was frustrated with the club as they could not guarantee him a first eleven place and wanted to get out of the club.

"I am really pleased for having Savio in our side. He is tall, has great pace and a great finisher. He has experience with both the top division and third division. We need him to be instrumental for our season to be a success. , said Alfaz Ahmed in the press conference.

"Are there more signings in the future?" "No. I don't think you will see much activities from us. However, if the right player becomes available, that can change."

Transfers update

Transfers In

Savio Fernandes

Snapped up from Raia SC free. Alfaz was not sure why would Raia SC let him go free, as he had a pretty good season for them. Alfaz was expecting Raia SC to reject their transfer offer. Nevertheless, he is happy to have Savio in the side. He will be the first choice striker while Praveen Kumar will provide backup.

Varin Kamble

Is definitely for the future. However, his good all all round attributes may make him a first choice goalkeeper this season. Has the potential to be a good I-League goalkeeper according to scouts.

Jimmy Pradhan

Nothing more than a cheap backup in the midfield.

Transfers Out

Alfaz tried to get rid of backup keeper M. V. Nelson after signing Kamble, but no club wanted him. Looks like he would have to pay €70 per week for him in the season. Apart from him, Alfaz was happy with the squad.
Some good signings here :) Hope they do well!

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