The teams GTC Rhinos, Sarusajai Hawks and NFRSA Crows clinched the title of their respective categories of the Greater Guwahati Baby League (GGBL) with the first ever season of Assam's first ever structured youth league ending on June 4 at Nehru Stadium, Guwahati.
After 84 teams and more than 900 kids competed in the six months long league, organized by Guwahati City FC (GCFC) and Sportscraft Management, finals of U11, U13 and U14 categories were played on the last matchday of the league.
In the U-11 category, Sarusajai Hawks defeated GYSFCC Dragons with the scoreline of 2-0 to clinch the title. GTC Rhinos defeated Ringchang Eagles in U13 category 1-0 to lift the championship. In the U14 category, NFRSA Crows defeated BMYC Thunders 2-0 to lift the title.
GTC Rhinos and GYSFCC Dragons have already clinched the titles of U7 and U9 categories respectively, as these two divisions were played in the points system. Eight teams participated in the U7 category, while in U9 category there were 12 teams. Sixteen teams fought for the title in the U11 category in two groups. In the U13 category, 26 teams competed in three categories which was the highest in the league supported by Assam Football Association, Decathlon, Champions Food Court, Egua-packaged drinking water, Techtro & Sai Vikas. Eighteen teams participated in U14 category.
Along with Guwahati, teams from Morigaon, Nagaon and neighbouring Meghalaya also took part in the league. "Objective was to provide enough competitive game time to kids and create a robust football structure based on strong culture starting from family. we are glad that kids from 4 to 14 years got exposure to very competitive football and each player got to play 20-25 games on average, which was the main objective of Baby League." Told Mr Kaustab Chakraborty, league operator and Co-founder of GCFC.
He also informed that Baby Leagues will be expanded to other parts of the state with the same objective under GCFC and Sportscraft banner. After the finals today, prize distribution ceremony was held where all the team and individual winners were awarded trophies and certificates. Ishan Saikia (64 goals), Ivan Ranjan Kalita (33 goals), Saksham Deka (25 goals), Monjyoti Tamuli (19 goals) and Rohan Manar (10 goals) were awarded top scorer trophies in U7, U9, U11, U13 and U14 categories respectively.
Devang Durlab Das of GTC Rhinos (U13 category) was adjudged as the award of Champion goalkeeper with 15 clean sheets. Masum Ahmed of Ringchang Eagles is awarded Champion playmaker trophy. Aryan Kishore Yadav, captain of U11 Sarusajai Hawks was awarded Decathlon Kipsta key player of the League.
A total of 70 players were awarded 'stars of baby league' badges. GGBL also witnessed the rise of some young coaches and 10 young coaches were awarded 'Emerging Coach' trophies. The most disciplined team award went to AG Leopards. Final day was graced by Mr Dharma Kanta Mili, Director, Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Assam Government, Mr Siddhartha Sankar Deka, President, Guwahati City FC, Mr Rangman Das, Vice President, GCFC, Mr Darick Ranjan Deka Finance Secretary, GCFC and Mr Hemendra Nath Brahma, Hony Secretary, Assam Football Association, Mr Hiren Gogoi, Hony Treasure gave away the prizes to the winners, told a statement released by GCFC.
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