Total Football, Total Ambition: Maharashtra Oranje FC all set for I-League 2 Campaign

In a groundbreaking turn of events, Maharashtra Oranje FC, formerly known as The Oranje FC, is set to make its mark on the national football stage with its debut in the 2023-24 I-League 2nd Division season.

The team’s journey, propelled by dedication and a commitment to the Dutch philosophy of “total football,” has been nothing short of remarkable.

Established in 2017, the club’s inception was marked by the founding of the Oranje Football Academy, a visionary project by Satyajeet Saaini, a mechanical engineer with an enduring passion for football. The academy quickly gained recognition for embracing the principles of “total football” and nurturing football talent in the bustling neighborhood of Powai and beyond. As the academy expanded its reach to various Mumbai neighborhoods, including Hiranandani, Bhandup, and Powai Vihar, it laid the foundation for what would evolve into Maharashtra Oranje FC.

From a modest debut in the MFA 3rd Division in 2018, the club steadily climbed the ranks of Mumbai football, ascending through multiple MFA divisions to eventually make its mark in the prestigious MFA Elite Division. The team’s consistency and determination shone through, finishing an impressive 4th in the 2022–23 season. Now, with a strategic acquisition of Atlanta FC’s spot in the I-League 2nd Division, Maharashtra Oranje FC is poised for a historic national debut, bringing the essence of Mumbai’s footballing spirit to a wider audience.

We had a quick chat with Owner Satyajeet Saaini ahead of the club’s debut campaign

Q1: Congratulations on Maharashtra Oranje FC’s entry into the I-League 2nd Division! How does the team feel about this new opportunity, especially considering it’s the first time participating in such a prestigious competition?

Satyajeet: Thank you. The team is grateful for this opportunity. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for many players. They are raring to go, and we hope it pans out the way we want.

Q2: Reflecting on the journey so far, can you share the key milestones that led Maharashtra Oranje FC to this point, from the formation of the first team in 2017 to competing in various MFA divisions and the Elite Division?

Satyajeet: We formed the club in 2017 as The Oranje FC and participated in the Palava Football League with a squad of youngsters, hungry for success. The following year marked our entry into the MFA, gaining promotion to the 2nd Division. We participated in multiple divisions, facing challenges and showcasing progress. Despite the obstacles, we made our debut in the Elite Division and, following two seasons, secured a spot in the I-League 2nd Division.

Q3: Taking over Atlanta FC in September 2023 was a significant development. Could you elaborate on the decision behind this move and how it positions Maharashtra Oranje FC for the upcoming I-League 2 season?

Satyajeet: Our faith in our players gave us the confidence to acquire Atlanta FC. We identified players for the upcoming season, positioning us to genuinely challenge for the title.

Q4: The team will be playing at COE, Kharghar, instead of the Cooperage Stadium. How does this change impact the team, and what factors contributed to this decision?

Satyajeet: We would have loved to play at Cooperage Stadium, but approval issues with AIFF necessitated a change. COE, Kharghar is a state-of-the-art facility, offering an exquisite pitch. Despite stadium work pending, it will be our go-to venue in the future.

Q5: As the owner, what are the primary goals and expectations for Maharashtra Oranje FC in their inaugural I-League 2nd Division season?

Satyajeet: Our aim is to perform to the best of our ability. We are aiming for promotion, taking one game at a time. The most important thing is to play good football that entertains and keeps everyone on their toes. We want people to remember us.

Q6: Given the transition from regional to national-level competitions, How has the team been preparing for the transition to a higher level of competition, both on and off the field?

Satyajeet: We’ve been training since August with the entire team, playing practice games and competitive football in the Elite division.

Q7: In terms of squad development, have there been any notable additions or changes to the team roster in preparation for the I League 2nd Division?

Satyajeet: We retained 17 players from the last season and scouted a few players from other teams, signing all the shortlisted players. Additionally, we signed a few outstation players to add more quality and depth to the squad.

Q8: Finally, what message would you like to convey to the fans and supporters of Maharashtra Oranje FC as they embark on this exciting journey in the I-League 2nd Division?

Satyajeet: We would want people to back us and support us till the end of the season as we represent Mumbai and Maharashtra. We will try our best, and we wish to continue giving players a chance in the future.

With the I-League 2nd Division debut on the horizon, Satyajeet Saaini and Maharashtra Oranje FC are ready to leave a lasting impression in Indian football, fueled by their journey from local leagues to the national spotlight. Fans eagerly anticipate the kickoff, backing the team as they aim to make history in the upcoming season.

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

Also Read: MFA Super League: Bombay Gymkhana edge Mumbai Ultras FC in 5 goal thriller

Also Read: Aylmer Gonsalves – The Mechanical Engineer rewriting MFA Super League history

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

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…