Debutant Sanju FA becomes C Division Sikkim League 2019 champion

GANGTOK, 11 Jun:

Sanju Football Academy, Sombaria, have become the champions of Sikkim Football Association [SFA] C Division Sikkim League 2019 played here at Paljor Stadium. This was the team’s debut appearance in the State C Division League.

The win is a big achievement for the academy, which was established by Indian international and professional footballer from Sikkim, SanjuPradhan in his hometown, Sombaria mainly to provide better training, exposure and opportunity to footballers from rural parts of the State.

In a contesting final match of the C Division league played on Tuesday afternoon, Sanju FA defeated another strong team, Sikkim Boys in a tie-breaker to become the champion of the league.

The first half of the final match ended in a goalless draw. Both teams fought neck-to-neck in the second half but missed some good opportunities to take the lead in the match. Finally, IngshaSubba scored the lead for Sanju FA in the 60th minute.

Sikkim Boys fought back but missed some good chances to equalise the score. In a nail-biting finish, the equaliser came from King Lepcha of Sikkim Boys in injury time of the match.

In the tie-breaker through penalty shoot-out, Sanju FA players converted four shots into goals while Sikkim Boys managed to score just two goals from four shots.

Along with finalists, Sanju FA and Sikkim Boys, Red Panda FC, Namchi and Brotherhood FC have also been promoted to the Sikkim Football Association [SFA] B Division Sikkim League 2020.

It has to be mentioned here that Sanju FA emerged as the topper of Group A and Red Panda FC stood on the second position in the group, while Sikkim Boys finished the league round of C division as topper of Group B and Brotherhood FC finished on the second position in Group B.

Forest Minister, Karma Loday Bhutia was present as the chief guest of the final match and was accompanied by former Indian football team skipper, Bhaichung Bhutia and Sikkim Football Association president, MenlaEthenpa among other dignitaries. The chief guest and other guests gave away trophies and certificates to its winners.

On the occasion, SFA also felicitated International footballer and member of Indian women’s team, AnjuTamang with a certificate of appreciation for her international achievements and contribution towards football.

Speaking to media persons after the match, Sanju FA mentor, SanjuPradhan expressed his immense happiness and satisfaction on the team’s performance throughout the league.

“This league was very important for players of the academy and they really performed tremendously well throughout the league. We also deserve this champion’s title as we have not prepared few days for this league but we have been preparing for some years for this league,” he said. He credited the win to teamwork and hard work.

“Being a professional footballer, I have a dream to produce more professional footballers from my home State. We have been working hard to bring out more talented footballers by providing them better training and opportunities through this academy,” Mr Pradhan said. He also expressed his happiness on a team from West Sikkim becoming the champion and being promoted to the second division league.

“Sanju FA is a factory to bring out talented footballers mainly from rural parts of Sikkim and we have been working hard on this mission to take them to the national level,” he expressed.