Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Salgaocar Sports (Goa) competed at MUPC 2009 in Manchester

From: "Wendy Fernandes"

Salgaocar Sports (Goa) competed at MUPC 2009 in Manchester
Wendy Fernandes

For all Goan football enthusiasts, you will be interested to know that our very own
Salgaocars from Goa qualified to participate in the Manchester United Premier Cup
(MUPC) football tournament which took place from August 5th to 7th at Carrington
(private training ground for Manchester United team).

Fortunately for me, the Coach, Francisco Bruto da Costa, is a good friend of my
family, who informed me of the arrival and participation of Salgaocars in this
prestigious tournament.

Knowing very little about this tournament, I asked for full details and it is
interesting to note that this tournament was founded in 1993 for under 15s as part
of their program to promote and scout for young talent from around the world. This
year over 43 countries participated at Manchester. To name a few - UK, France,
Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Ghana, China etc. This was an opportunity for teams
to play at international level and share the experience of bridging language and
cultural barriers through sports

This is the fourth year that All India Football Federation (AIFF) in collaboration
with Nike, (world's leading designer of authentic athletic footwear, apparel &
equipment for sports) has been sending a side from India to participate at the MUPC
event. To qualify for the event, a local tournament was held from 11th November 2008
to December 3rd 2008. The following teams - Mahindra United FC, JCT, Pune FC, Viva
Kerala, Salgaocar Sports Club, Sporting Club De Goa, Sikkim Football Academy,
Silchar Football Academy, Mumbai Sports School Association, Pondicherry Coaching
Centre and Uttaranchal participated in the tournamnent.

At the finals (In India) our very own boys played under the banner of the famous
brand 'Salgoacars' and defeated Raghav FC of Gurgaon (Haryana) to make it for the
first time at the MUPC tournament at Manchester.

The Salgaocar team arrived in Manchester prior to the tournament and all
international teams were accommodated at Fallowfield Campus, Manchester University.

The MUPC event kicked off with the opening ceremony followed by a draw at Carrington
on Tuesday 4th August 2009. The guests of honour officiating were Sir Alex
Ferguson, (Manchester United Manager) Sir Bobby Charlton (former professional
football player who won the World Cup in '66) and Rio Ferdinand (defender and
Captain of Manchester United).

Because this event did not attract much attention in the press, it is quite possible
that very few are aware of this wonderful news. I attended the tournament and was
very impressed with the skills and energy of the under 15s. The matches were
exciting to say the least and very competitive and the finals were held on Saturday
8th August 2009 at Old Trafford also known as the "Theatre of Dreams", where Sao
Paulo (Brazilians) defeated Werder Bremen (Germans) to lift the Manchester United
Premier Cup trophy. The score was 3:1.

Even though Salgoacars finished 20th. I must say that they put in their very best
despite the odds of playing against very superior teams. Our boys however, are
very pleased with this exposure at the international level as it provided them a
platform to measure their skills, passion and determination against the very best of
peers. Congratulations to our young boys for making it this far and definitely
putting Goa in the map of international events.

Francisco Bruto da Costa. (the coach) was all praise for the Management of the
Salgaocar Club who provides all facilities to their members for promoting talent at
the grass root level. The cooperation and support from parents, schools and
officials creates a very congenial atmosphere for development of this sport. (ENDS)

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