Bengaluru FC – My first home team

Nischal is going for the Bengaluru FC vs Mohun Bagan AC match tomorrow. Here are his thoughts on Bengaluru taking part in the I-League and why buying the most expensive ticket for the match is completely worth it. 

The Mumbai based JSW have ensured that football fans in the city get what we have been craving for years! You see, usually no one deserves anything in sport or life. But you know what; football fans in Bengaluru do deserve a slice of full fat goodness after years of frustration of watching other cities have teams and talent in our city go wasted. Sunday is a massive, massive day for all of us. I’ve never seen tickets sell out so quickly at the stadium before! Not even when the VIP stand tickets were as cheap as Rs. 50 a couple of years ago!

Well, we’ve aced the summer and the pre-season by signing the captain of the Indian football team amongst a host of other Indian superstars. The four foreign players are no mugs themselves. Defender Johnson comes from the very physical English league and will have no trouble fitting into the heart of the defense. A couple of promising local youngsters have been signed on as well. Shelton Nickson (U-17), being one of them. Heading into July, the club announced Ashley Westwood as the clubs first head coach. Westwood, a former Manchester United youth player and former Blackburn Rovers assistant manager seems like the perfect fit. Those in the know, have nothing but positive things to say about the Englishman. The squad seems to enjoy training under him. Also, the introduction of the ‘Swear Jar’ is something that has caught the eye.

Though setting up of a local youth academy is pre requisite to play in the premier competition, in the long run, it is extremely good for the youngsters in the city as there are only a few academies setup to serve this purpose. The stadium has got a face lift as well and looks like it will be a top notch venue for football and might be in consideration to host the FIFA U-17 World cup in 2017.

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The pictures were taken from Bengaluru FC’s facebook page.

The host of public appearances made by the team for a variety of reasons has helped in creating this massive buzz around the city. Open training sessions and visits to various hotspots to interact, have helped to establish a lot of hype outside of the social space as well. The support for the club is swelling to unbelievable numbers, judging by the incessant posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter. The club even has a tie up with Bookmyshow so fans can buy their tickets online, which are priced starting from Rs.30, 50, 150, 300 and 450. And Arbor Brewing Company is going to be the home pub for the season, telecasting games and selling merchandise. It’s going to be a kickass scene for football followers to interact and probably get together, support the home team and perhaps play a bit of football!

This is the most excited I’ve been about the I-League! Ever! I’ve been longing for a local team to support and Bengaluru FC is the answer. A revamped stadium, a squad brimming with quality, an experienced coach and thousands of Bengalureans behind them has all the makings to dominate the local scene for the next couple of weeks. This makes shelling out for the most expensive ticket at the Bengaluru stadium worth it. It has been the talk of the town for a few weeks and the excitement is palpable and it all culminates this Sunday at 4. Our time is now! C’mon Bengaluru!!

Match updates – The I-League kicked off today, with three matches taking place. The day saw defending champions, Churchill Brothers SC, lose 0-1 to Salgaocar FC in a Goa derby. Mumbai FC and Sporting Clube de Goa drew 1-1 and Pune FC humiliated Mohammedan Sporting club with a 3-1 win, away from home. That puts Pune on top of the table, but it doesn’t make sense to look at the table already.

We shall wait for tomorrow and see what happens! Until then.

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