The senior football team of Apeejay School, Noida, in Sector 16A has been practising for almost a year ahead of Hindustan Times Great Indian Football Action (HT GIFA) tournament for this year. The energetic team of 10 members is aged between 15 and 17 years.
The team will be representing their school at HT GIFA – the ultimate football league for Delhi-NCR – which has become a calendar event for football lovers and residents.
The Apeejay School’s team members are excited as this is their first time in HT GIFA, a renowned football tournament across Delhi-NCR.
“We are an enthusiastic team and are ready to take on other teams in the tournament. Last year, we could not participate in the event, but this time we are thrilled to have been selected,” said Rishabh Kapoor, goalkeeper.
The team members are passionate about the game and start practising at 5.30 am every day.
“I formed the team after extensive trials of over 40 students between classes 10 and 12 from the school. After almost three months, the final 10 members were selected for the tournament. We want our best players to play for HT GIFA,” said Yusuf Ali, the coach.
The team has also formulated a strategy for their matches in the tournament and is positive about securing a position in the top three teams.
“Our defence is strong and our strategy will be to keep changing our formations with every game so that other teams are taken by surprise with every match,” said Sajal Sinha, team captain.
According to their manager, the team members are dedicated to the game and have been practising for two hours daily.
“Every day we practise in the morning, after which the players also have to attend school. They return the next day with even more enthusiasm,” said Kailash Singh Rajpoot, team manager.
However, it is not just the players who are excited about the tournament. Their parents too are thrilled at the opportunity their children are getting.
“It was my son’s dream to play at HT GIFA since it is a very coveted tournament. Now that he is going to play for it, he is leaving no stone unturned in his training and aims to win it,” said Neeraj Kapoor, Rishabh Kapoor’s father.