FC Pune city Club’s shortcomings fail to dampen the spirit of the orange army
While the stallions have been winless in each of the six games they’ve played this season, there is still optimism in each and every supporter of the extremely passionate orange armyUpdated: Nov 09, 2018 15:42 IST
Fan clubs are the backbones of every football club. They’re there for the players when all seems to be gloomy and lost, and the Orange Army, FC Pune City’s very own supporters’ club, have stood by the team through thick and thin. While the stallions have been winless in each of the six games they’ve played this season, there is still optimism in each and every supporter of the extremely passionate orange army.
Akshay Amritanshu, Kiran Hedelkar and Sambit Mohanty spoke exclusively to Hindustan Times, explaining how season five of the Indian Super League (ISL) has really personal for them. Three distinct individuals, united by the club they love, gave an insight as to what needs to be done for the stallions’ fortunes to change on the pitch and what they’re doing as supporters to make things happen for their team.
“I think the coach selection is the first thing that went wrong. Also, we cannot continue playing Jonathan Lucca. We need to have other big-game players barring Alfaro and Marcelino. It’s time for some of the younger players to step up as well,” stated Mohanty when quizzed about why things have gone south for the stallions this season.
The fact that the club is still to win a game being a month and a half into the new season, Amritanshu believes that the results have not impacted the attendance of the orange army members in the stands at the Balewadi sports complex. He believes that the fans are going to continue to support the club, come what may, and that could be pivotal in bringing back the good times.
Amritanshu said “The orange army has grown from a few people to a united family and situations like this only help us stick together and we’re united regardless of the shortcomings of our team’s performances on the pitch. We’ve had phenomenal numbers for our first two home games, but it slightly dipped for the third one, but I vow that we’ll be back stronger for our next home game. We’ve also travelled in large numbers to Mumbai and Goa to cheer our team despite being heavily outnumbered by the home fans.”
Hedelkar then spoke about the dwindling overall attendance in the stadium and explained why the scheduling of the matches has a major role in it. He stated, “Attributing to the drop in attendance solely based on the team’s performances is incorrect, according to me. The ISL schedule has been pretty strange this season. If you look at the fixtures up until December, there’s not a single home game on the weekends, which makes it difficult for working-class individuals to come all the way to Balewadi to support the team.”
While there seems to be a lack of cohesion on the pitch, it’s certainly present in abundance off it. The orange army have been FC Pune City’s 12th man since the very first season of the ISL, and they’re doing all they can to give their players a psychological boost going into a crucial phase of the campaign.
First Published: Nov 09, 2018 15:41 IST