MDFA Elite Division 2016-17: The Big Preview

Elite Division – The topmost division of Mumbai football is set to begin in a couple of days to write yet another chapter of an exciting and thrilling season. The 2015-16 season was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride which saw a new champion when O.N.G.C (Oil & National Gas Corporation) lifted the title after defending champions Air India conceded a last minute goal to lose the title against Mumbai FC at Cooperage Stadium. For the first time in the last couple of years, the Elite Division title had come down to the wire.

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Mumbai FC and Air India ended with 31pts but the former had a better head to head record against Air India which helped them finish in the second position. Statistically, Air India had a brilliant season as they conceded only nine times (best defense in the league) and scored the most goals after netting in forty-six goals, eight ahead of second best-attacking side Mumbai FC.


Surprisingly, though, Karantak Sports Association (KSA) forward Arihi Uchela finished as the top scorer in Elite Division with eight goals which included two spectacular hat-tricks. By the looks of it, the upcoming season will surely produce another unforgettable season. All the teams have already begun preparing, both physically and mentally.

Air India, Mumbai FC, O.N.G.C, and Indian Navy, as usual, will start as the Elite Division title contenders like any other season. Each of the four outfits has made numbers of signings to strengthen their squad and has also released some of the players to balance the squad.

Lately, Mumbai FC had also conducted an open trial to snap up some of the emerging and talented players from Mumbai. The Yellow Submarines has also signed Kishan Sulegai and Ritesh Perembra from Karantak Sports Association (KSA) and Kenkre FC, respectively to add depth to their squad. The signing of Vaibhav Karpe has already sparked up The Yellow Brigade who seems like a perfect signing for Santosh Kashyap’s side.


Last season’s best goalkeeper Sheldon Raghwan has also made a move after joining defending champions O.N.G.C from Union Bank of India (UBI). Meanwhile, Air India’s Wayne Vaz has joined Indian Navy to start a new chapter of his career. Wayne was arguably the best defender last season who was one of, the sole reason behind Air India’s solid defense.

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The likes of Mumbai Customs, Kenkre FC, Union Bank of India, PIFA Colaba, KSA, Western Railway, and Central Bank of India can prove to be the underdogs who can cause serious damage to the opponents on their day.

There will be many new faces to watch out for this season and with M.S Police gaining a promotion from Super Division, this season has already got better.