The Unbeaten Champions: An Insight into Union Bank of India’s dominant Season with Coach Ryan

Union Bank of India (UBI) has had an incredible season in the Mumbai Corporate League, and much of their success can be attributed to their winning coach, Ryan D’Souza.

With a firm belief in high standards and player development, Ryan has led UBI to new heights. Here’s a detailed look into their journey, the factors behind their success, and their future plans.

Setting High Standards and Achieving Dreams

At the beginning of the season, UBI set ambitious goals. “Our goal is to play top football and to be ranked in the top three of any tournament we participate in,” says Ryan. With a focus on player development and preparing for the highest level of competition, UBI played two notable tournaments this season. They were runners-up in the Shri John Alphonso tournament in Borivali and crowned unbeaten champions in the Mumbai Corporate League.

Being ‘champions’ is an achievement in itself, and remaining unbeaten is a tremendous feat last achieved in 1989,” reflects Ryan. “It means everything to me. It’s a dream come true and a moment we’ll cherish forever.”

Key Factors Behind the Success

The success of UBI this season is attributed to several key factors. “I owe it to the players whose pure dedication, sheer hard work, hunger to learn, positive attitude, discipline, and most importantly, the belief that they can be a force to reckon with,” Ryan explains. This collective effort and mindset were crucial in clinching the championship title.

Standout Performers

While it’s challenging to single out individual players, several stood out for their exceptional performances. “It’s difficult to pinpoint one single player since all played their roles excellently,” says Ryan. However, notable mentions include Captain Brendan, Twain, Lalit, Elvin, Sarvesh, Ryan, Farooq, Chinmay (GK), and Pradeep. Each of these players contributed significantly to the team’s overall success.

Meticulous Preparation and Tactical Mastery

Preparation for matches was a rigorous process, especially for a young and inexperienced team. “Making them understand the roles and responsibilities in each area of the field in respect to formation and style of play was crucial,” Ryan states. The team worked on getting to optimal fitness, practicing different zones of the field, and repeatedly rehearsing key tactics. Their preferred formation was 4-3-3, but they also worked on formation changes to adapt to different opponents.

Playing practice matches against strong teams such as the Maharashtra Santosh Trophy team, Reliance Youth Foundation, and top Mumbai Premier League teams significantly boosted the team’s confidence. “These matches were essential in refining our strategies and building team cohesion,” Ryan notes.

Overcoming Challenges

Every season presents its own set of challenges, and for UBI, the major hurdle was coordination. “Each player had their own style and approach to the game, which initially made it difficult to coordinate our efforts, “ Ryan recalls. The biggest challenge was learning to work together as a team and understanding each other on the field in terms of formation and style of play. “Overcoming this hurdle was crucial for our success,” Ryan emphasizes.

Memorable Moments

Reflecting on the season, Ryan highlights some memorable matches that stood out. “The match against Indian Navy was a tough match where the opponents were seasoned players with better technical, physical, and tactical abilities than us,” he recalls. Despite the challenges, UBI played to their plan and had the upper hand twice before leveling the scores in a roller-coaster game.

Another highlight was the match against BOB, the league title favorites. “It was a brilliant performance where we scored four goals, with three clinical finishes from crosses and a stunning shot from the top of the box that sealed their fate,” Ryan reminisces.

Looking Ahead

As UBI looks ahead to the upcoming season, Ryan emphasizes the importance of consistency. “We will continue to work in the same way like we do every season,” he asserts. The team will focus on maintaining their high standards, refining their strategies, and ensuring continuous player development.

Also Read: Punjab FC crowned Dream Sports Championship winners after 1-0 win over East Bengal

Also Read: IOT FC Head Coach Yash Shah: Mumbai Premier League promotion feels euphoric and relieving

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