Young ‘N’ Masters Challenge Cup ‘23 – A unique format by Cool Veterans accomplished engaging families together

The central suburb of Mumbai, Mulund, just witnessed a footballing carnival involving families on a Sunday at the Young ‘n’ Masters Challenge Cup ’23 organized by Cool Veterans in association with Mumbai Knights and Tiger Sports Foundation at Athlon Turf, Kalidas Sports Complex.

It was a unique football competition format ideated from Hemanth sir of Cool Veterans and meticulously thought out and executed by the organizing committee. The match was played as a 2 v 2 league cum knock-out between a father-son team against another father-son team or a father-daughter team against another father-daughter team. A total of 65 teams involving 60 families registered and got along with them their families wherein many grandparents were also seen cheering up their grandson and granddaughters. The tournament was played in 6 different age categories starting from U-12, U-14, U-14 Girls, U-16, U-18, and above-18.

According to Cool Veterans Organizing Committee and the participants present, this is a historic event as a format like this was being heard for the first time in Maharashtra and that too organized in such a big scale. The committee proudly mentions that they were able to successfully manage 87 football matches in a single day and witnessed by not just the players but their families and extended families.

The mood at the mini-stadium Athlon was enthralling with hoots, cheering, claps, music and emotions flowing around abundantly. To complement the mood, the Cool Veterans Organizing Committee made sure that the players leaves the ground not only taking better lifetime memories but also a token of their participation in the form of medals and tournament jersey. Every player were playing wearing the tournament jersey which was a pleasant sight in itself. Moreover, the winners, runners up, and both the semi-finalists received trophies and medals.

Every team and their families were also taken care of by providing snacks and refreshments. Most of the team had to say that they had a memorable Sunday as they take home better memories playing along with their son/daughter and they look forward to the next edition of this tournament and would like to get registered right away.

The winners of the first edition of Young ‘n’ Masters Challenge Cup ’23 are as follows:

In the Under 12 age category, 2nd Runners Up were CA 10, Anjuman FC, Jupiter SC; Runners Up was Iron Age; Winner was BS Pasi FC; the highest scorer trophy went to Armaan Shaikh of CA 10.

In the Under 14 age category, 2nd Runners Up were Dribblers and Crazy Vet, Runners Up was Sixteen 16, Winner was United Boys, the highest scorer trophy went to Ammar Ansari of United Boys.

In the Under 14 Girls age category, 2nd Runners Up was MUFC and Strikers; Runners Up was Power Pair A; Winner was Caldeira’s; the highest scorer trophy went to Tiara of Caldeira’s.

In the Under 16 age category, 2nd Runners Up was Ferns 2; Runners Up was Fighters; Winner was R Square; the highest scorer trophy went to Ryan Pereira of R Square.

In the Under 18 age category, 2nd Runners Up was Dream Team and Tarun Family; Runners Up was Tarun Boys; Winner was Sartape United; the highest scorer trophy was shared by the Father-son duo of Sartape United

In the Above 18 age category, 2nd Runners Up was Kunder’s, St. Anthony Dadar, Shizu Duo; Runners Up was Tiny Giants; Winner was Black Wings; the highest scorer trophy went to Om Arane of Black Wings.

The tournament did had star players among the ranks with their son and daughter playing alongside, like Nitin Kotian and CS Nazeer from Customs, Munna Khan of Mohammedan Sporting and MSP, Vijay Kunder former Orkay Player, and Chirag Shaikh from Central Railway and many players who have represented big clubs in Mumbai and other states.

One of the participant which need mentioning is the 75 year old veteran footballer Russel Basker of GKW and Naval Civilians who came along with his son Suresh Basker aged 46 and were the senior most duo of the tournament. Their presence in the field was inspirational and motivating for all.

The Chief Guest of the tournament were Cedric Fernandes, Asst. Commissioner – Mumbai Customs; Jeddy Almeida, AIFF Coach Educator; Affaque Sheikh, Asst. Commissioner – Mumbai Customs; Laxman Karkera, Superintendent – Mumbai Customs; Diandra Valladares, National Athlete; RJ Dileep of Big FM; Piyush Baug of Adhyapan Tutorials; Prasad Shetty of Air India Football Club who was present despite being in plaster due to injury; Pradeep Barua of Happy Guys; and Kalichand Kapri of Tarun Sports.

The potential of such a format of football tournament will definitely help in building Grassroots Football Development in the country. Some participants in the tournament were first timers and some were professionals and had stopped playing but they said that they will start practicing again and the young first timers were eager to take up football practice more seriously.

The organizers hope that the legacy of such format spreads far and wide which will help in building up a football community by engaging families and thereby developing the beautiful game.

As per Cool Veterans, the way forward for this format is to start with Mother-Son and Mother-Daughter 2 v 2 football tournament. Hoping that this too start taking shape as this format had taken shape. At the end, all are left with great memories to cherish and share

For Fixtures and Standing and News on the MFA Super League: Click

Also Read: MFA Super League: Soccer Saga come from behind to win 3-1 over Kenkre U19

Also Read: Uday Yadav’s equalizer salvages draw for Maharashtra Oranje FC (U23) against Kopana FC

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