Mumbai City FC is all set to compete in the AIFF U-18 Youth League (Maharashtra Zone) 2018-19 for the first time in their history, kicking off the campaign against Football School of India at the Cooperage Stadium here on Monday evening.
With an eye on tapping future stars and grooming home-grown players, MCFC’s U-18 team is being honed by experienced coach Mohan Dass.
He has the distinction of leading the FC Pune City women’s team to the crown in the inaugural WIFA Women’s Championship 2017. Dass has made his impact at the U-18 level as well, winning the 122nd IFA Shield in 2016-17 as head coach of the FC Pune City U-18 boys.
Adding to his accolades, he was also the head coach of the Pune FC U-15 side that went unbeaten in the 2015-16 AIFF U-15 Youth League (Maharashtra Zone), after winning the U-18 (in 2015-16) and the U-19 (in 2013-14) titles as assistant coach. Dass has also furthered his experience away from the youth level, as the assistant coach of the Maharashtra senior men’s team in the 2016-17 Santosh Trophy.
The Junior Islanders will be aiming to make it to the national championship in the first year of asking but will have to contend with some tough competition, including rivals FC Pune City and Reliance Foundation Young Champs.
On this historic occasion, CEO of Mumbai City FC Indranil Das Blah said, “It's a new chapter for football in the city of Mumbai. Having represented the city at the highest level of football in the country, in the ISL it’s time we did at the youth level too..”
He added: “As a club, we've always encouraged young talent and it is our responsibility to give the youth of Mumbai a platform to display their talent. After a lengthy process of scouting and trials, we are ready to kick-off our new youth set-up in this new phase in the history of the club.”
Mumbai City FC U-18 Squad
Goalkeepers: Soham Popalghat, Nikhil Durga, Nishit Shetty, Rahul Prasad
Defenders: Mohammed Kaif Khan, Advait Rai, Abdul Haseeb KP, Aniket Gunjal, Adnan Memon, Aman Dubey, Pratham Ghatnur, Abel Fernandes, Twain Fernandes
Midfielders: Nakul Shelke, Abhinav Vattolil, Mohammed Asif Khan, Shreyas Vatekar, Pranav Pillai, Kunal Patel, Kamran Siddique, Aayush Ajitkumar, Rollen Fernandes, Izaan Shaikh, Sarvesh Bangar
Forwards: Meet Jain, Aman Sayyed
Head Coach: Mohan Dass
Asst. Coach: Suprith Jathana