Exclusive Interview: Kaizad Ambapardiwalla reflects on Bengaluru FC’s journey to RFDL Glory

Building Champions: Coach Kaizad Ambapardiwalla shares insights into Bengaluru FC’s winning mindset and developmental approach in a candid chat

In an exhilarating finale of the second season of the Reliance Foundation Developmental League (RFDL) held in Navi Mumbai, Bengaluru FC displayed their mettle by emerging victorious over Sudeva Delhi FC in a captivating penalty shootout. The Blues successfully defended their title, securing a memorable victory after a highly competitive encounter that ended 2-2 at the end of regulation time.

Speaking about his team’s resilient performance, Bengaluru FC coach Kaizad Ambapardiwalla emphasized the quality and determination of his players. He praised their ability to execute game plans while battling against tough opposition. “The quality of the players is really good. So, we knew that whatever happens, we would fight back,” Coach Kaizad reflected, adding, “The players are of really good quality and we knew what our plans were. We played according to our plans and finally got the result that we wanted, so that’s what matters.”

In an exclusive interview, Coach Kaizad shed light on various aspects of the tournament and the team’s journey to the championship. When asked about the significance of winning back-to-back titles and the learning experience for his players, he responded, “The thing is these boys have experienced this last year and they know how to play. The players are quality players and we had a team that never wanted to give up.” He further highlighted the importance of having a winning mentality and continuous game time for the development of young talents, stating, “It’s important to keep playing more games. That’s how the players gain experience. But at this age, winning is also important because every child has to have that winning mentality.”

Coach Kaizad was also questioned about the potential transitions of his players to the senior team. While he acknowledged several talented individuals within his squad, he mentioned that the final decision rests with the first team coach. “There are many players, but the first team coach has to take the final decision. He knows that and he sees the players play and then accordingly picks them to move to the senior team” he explained.

Highlighting the support received from the senior players and first-team coaching staff, Coach Kaizad shared, “During the training or during the games, when we were playing in Bangalore, all the first-team staff used to come and watch the games to see their development. They used to come and watch every player, every game for us.”

Bengaluru FC players celebrate post winning the final of the Reliance Foundation Development League played out at Reliance corporate park at Ghansoli, in Navi Mumbai on 14th May 2023 Photo: Focus Sports/ RFDL

When asked about the team’s mindset heading into the final, considering BFC’s recent form in tournament finals where they lost 3 out of four(Including eISL), Coach Kaizad emphasized the players’ unwavering determination. He said, “No specific message was needed to be given. The boys wanted to win. We see the result of BFC overall, everyone has gone to finals, so that is because of the winning mentality. So, there was no hold back for us.”

Looking ahead, Coach Kaizad expressed his confidence in the upcoming Next-Gen Cup, where Bengaluru FC will face European club youth teams. He regarded it as a great opportunity for his players to gain experience and demonstrate their talents. “We have to show that, you know, we can do it as Indians. We have those talents and we have to build on those talents,” he affirmed.

Bengaluru FC’s second triumph in the Reliance Foundation Developmental League final exemplifies their resilience and commitment to excellence. The RFDL has undoubtedly provided a platform for nurturing young talents and fostering the growth of Indian football

Also ReadRFDL: ATK Mohun Bagan seal third-place 

Also Read: RFDL: Bengaluru FC retains crown in a nail-biting finale

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