Why Kenkre’s I league 2nd division participation is crucial for Mumbai football

After a span of 3 years, Kenkre FC is all set to feature in the I-League 2nd division again. Currently, the club is only the 2nd team from Mumbai to be playing in either of the top 3 divisions of the Indian football structure.

Mumbai, the ‘city of dreams, has just one team representing it in the top 3 division of Indian Football that is Mumbai City FC featuring in the ISL. Mumbai over the years has supplied several teams to the I–League. A decade ago, there were teams like Air India, ONGC, Mumbai FC, and Mahindra United who were significant representatives of the state.

Issues such as the inadequacies in the Indian Football structure, and budget constraints posed challenges for the teams and in turn, hampered their growth further.

Mahindra was the top-rated club in the city before shutting down in 2010. A couple of years later, clubs like ONGC and the Air India football team were relegated to playing just MDFA leagues after AIFF put a ban on Institutional sides in an effort to turn the game more professional. Meanwhile, clubs like Mumbai FC shut down in 2016 partly due to internal conflict but majorly due to lack of proper support or structure in Indian Football.

A few years ago, Mumbai seemed to have received a big boost when Pro Kabbadi side UMumba fielded their football team in MDFA Elite Division and had major plans for the I-League entry. For this purpose, they even held trials for Mumbai players. However, things soon turned bleak after their I league opportunity was put on hold. The club decided to completely shut shop for the being instead of hanging out in MDFA leagues.

The last few years have only seen Mumbai City FC’s participation in the country’s premier league. The islanders have also crowned the champions of ISL in 2020 and despite gaining prominence around the country, there is still a distant gap in the funnel for local players to represent Mumbai City.

This is where clubs like Kenkre FC have a bigger role to play. Their selection for the 2nd Division League reinstates opportunities for local players to have more teams to look up to, and seek a development pathway into professional football.

“Well, players from Maharashtra have always been our first option; we are representatives of Maharashtra and will go the extra mile to promote local talent”

– CEO of Kenkre FC, Mr. Joshua Lewis.

Not only this, but Kenkre FC has also been supportive in getting homegrown and aspiring coaches on board. For this year, Kenkre has appointed Mr. Akhil Kothari as the head coach.

Mr. Joshua Lewis quoted, “As a club, we have focussed on youth development since our inception. Likewise, we focus a lot on supporting and nurturing young talented coaches who eventually will make their mark in professional football. We have always promoted homegrown coaches knowing the pros and cons involved. This campaign will be managed by Mr. Akhil Kothari, an A-Licensed Coach who has come through our ranks and will be mentored by our Technical Director, Mr. Irenio Vaz, who has been instrumental in developing Maharashtra football for decades.”

Maharashtra football at the moment needs a structured pathway for its local players. Prospective players have time and again been forced to leave their states in order to seek better opportunities. Clubs like Kenkre FC will not only act as a feeder system but promote football in Maharashtra.

With the 2nd Division campaign just a month away, Mumbai football fans would be hoping for a good show from Kenkre FC.

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: Hero Indian Super League to Feature in EA SPORTS™ FIFA 22

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

Lemon Break Sports FC to conduct trials for MFA 1st Division campaign

Lemon Break Sports FC is conducting trials for its first division side that will be playing in the MFA league for the upcoming season. Lemon Break SC is one of…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Senior Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Senior Women’s Football Team on the 9th of October at Neville Dsouza Ground, Bandra. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


NLWS FC to hold trials for MDFA 3rd division

NLWS FC, a club based out of Dadar that will be playing in the MDFA 3rd division for the 2021-22 season will be holding trials next Sunday (10th October) Mauli…


Income Tax Football team to conduct trials for Elite Division Campaign

MDFA Elite Division side Income Tax Football team will be conducting trials for ‘Guest Players’ for its upcoming 2021-22 season. The team is now looking to rope in few ‘guest…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for U 14 and U 16 category in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 2nd and 3rd October at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying…


Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…


Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…


Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…