MITFL Press Conference-1
MIT’s very own football league is finally here and there is a lot to look forward to. This league carries some big expectations. Shubh Patodi, the founder of MITFL, took some time out of his schedule and catered to all of our queries while simultaneously elaborating on the intricacies of the league in the process.
Currently, there are ongoing discussions taking place with the authorities regarding the availability of floodlights for the evening fixtures. As of now only one match is to be played under floodlights as a trial run. That match would be held on the 6th of February. Further games to be played under floodlights are still undecided.
The MIT grounds are not match-ready yet. Hence all team trials and friendlies will take place in the football field at End Point. All the league matches will be held in the MIT grounds once they have been restored to playable conditions.
The enthusiasm surrounding the league is palpable with 750 students having applied for trials and more than 50 students for management positions.
At this moment, the MITFL is sponsored by Bhai Jugaad and Webloom Solutions, but they are looking for other sponsors. The MITFL is a platform for start-ups and corporates alike to promote themselves and they will be allowed to display their logo on a team’s jersey. The league’s website will be up and running soon.
Shubh Patodi put it best when he said, “The era of cricket is still here, in India, but the era of football has truly arrived.”
The trials comprise a total of five tests with each one challenging the candidates on the basis of speed, tackling ability, shooting, passing, dribbling and an optional sixth test, reserved for goalkeepers. The trials for the fourth years will take place on the 13th of January, third years on the 14th of January, second years on the 15th of January and first years on the 16th of January at the End Point football field.
After a rigorous warm-up session, the player’s speed will be judged by a 100 meter sprint. The 2nd test entails defending the goal against 2 players playing one to one passes. The candidate would have to tackle the players and retrieve possession of the ball. Tackling with the right techniques will result in the allotment of extra points. The test for shooting involves targets being set and standard distances being marked as players will be asked to shoot against a keeper. For testing accuracy, players will be asked to pass into set targets under pressure by a defender. For dribbling, players will be asked to dribble through an obstacle course and score against a keeper. Goalkeepers will be tested on their reaction against free kicks, penalties, and pressure situations.
There will be judges for each of these tests who will tabulate a score for each player. The judges are the captains of the teams. From these scores a rating system will be generated, much like our current GPA system. The players with similar ratings will be classified in the same category. The team captains will be allocated players from all the categories equally, making the system unbiased. If a team has more defenders than they require, then they can exchange one defender for a striker from any other team, provided that they have similar ratings.
On the objectives of the MITFL, Shubh spoke of how the league would help improve the skills of the candidates, bring out unnoticed talent, make sure the teams are unbiased and above all promote fitness which is essential in today’s hectic world. Shubh says that he wants players to “show commitment to fitness and the team.”
FUTURE PRESS CONFERENCES:
18th January 2016-Start Season. The teams will be officially unveiled along with the captains and players.
1st March 2016- Mid Season. News.
11th April 2016- Season End. The teams will be asked to reflect on the season and mention their high and low points along with areas where they can improve.
RULES AND REGULATIONS:
- 30 minutes a side + injury time
- 2 players from each year + 4 MIT team players allowed.
- FIFA rules to be followed.
- 25 players a team, where 6 players of the MIT teams have already been drafted and 2 goalkeepers mandatory.
- Usage of shin-guards is advised.
- Draft Team also give trials.
BY-LAWS AND DUTIES:
The advisory board will have the following structure:
Note:The Ombudsman is the person the players turn to if they face any difficulty regarding the league.
The management board will have the following structure:
The names of the people occupying these designations will be released in the press conference on the 18th of January.
Furthermore, each Captain/Manager will be assigned an Assistant Manager from the 2nd year to assist them in ensuring proper functioning of the team.
The league officially starts on the last day of January. Matches will be held on Sundays from 7:00AM -8.30 AM and 8.30-10.00 AM and one evening game will be played, which would start at 5.30 PM. All matches will be held at the MIT ground. The schedule for the fixtures are:
Match Day 1- 31st January
Match Day 2- 7th February
Match Day 3- 14th February
Match Day 4- 28th February
Match Day 5- 6th March
Match Day 6- 20th March
Match Day 7- 3rd April
Match Day 8- 10th April
Match Day 9- 17th April
Match Day 10- 24th April
Apart from the regular schedule, friendly matches will be held on the 23rd and 24th of January, so that the teams can have a warm up practice before the league commences. After Day 5 of the league, which is on the 6th of March, the MIT team players will leave to take part in the Revels Cup and will only return after Day 7. During these two matches, scouts from the Manipal University teams will be seated in the audience to recognize the talent and potential at MIT. Shubh hopes that this situation recreates the real life predicaments major league clubs face when they lose their star players to injury or suspension and it will “bring further excitement at the student level.”
Q: Do you have any plans of expansion to include the other colleges of Manipal University?
A: It isn’t feasible at the moment because of the different exam schedules of the colleges. But from next year onwards we will try to incorporate “foreign” students from the other colleges into the teams.
Q: Any plans of selling merchandise of the league to the students?
A: There indeed are plans to that effect. The Joint Director had brought up the issue. If this idea indeed does come to fruition then the proceeds would go to the MITFL which would in turn be used to improve the football infrastructure of MIT.
Q: What are the time slots reserved for team training sessions?
A: The MIT grounds will be made available for training purposes on Saturdays. All the teams will have access to the ground. The individual fitness drills of each team will be held at the discretion of the team captain/manager during any day of the week.
Q: Where do the Advising and Management Board members get recruited from?
A: They will be recruited from the current students of MIT. We are giving the students of MIT an experience at managing teams.
Q: Who decides the leadership of the MITFL once you go to the fourth year?
A: That decision will be taken by the director.
Q: In what ways can a company become a sponsor?
A: Any company can choose to become a title sponsor for the league, a partner or a team sponsor. We want the league to promote the plethora of start-ups present in Manipal.