Scheduled for over two days, Minerva Punjab FC (currently known as RoundGlass Punjab Football Club) has conducted Youth Trials in Lucknow in association with Techtro Football Club for four age categories- U11s, U13s, U15s, and U18s. The trials began on 13th July at La Maritiniere College – Polo grounds and MPFC successfully attracted over 600 aspirants in all age categories, Minerva Punjab FC has become the first club from I-League to conduct trials in Lucknow for the very first time. It has drawn the attention of young footballers from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kolkata, and Kerala.

The Director of Techtro Football Club, Neeraj Kholiya, has expressed his gratitude to the then-owner of Minerva Punjab FC owner, Ranjit Bajaj, and lauded his efforts for contributing towards Indian Football. “I wholeheartedly thank Minerva Punjab FC especially, Ranjit Bajaj Sir, for organizing the trials in Lucknow. This event is special because the trials are conducted in Uttar Pradesh by an I-League club for the first time. It is an honor for me to have collaborated with MPFC for these football trials,” said Neeraj. He further added, “I am glad that people from UP have immense football talent, and the players are putting up a good fight technically. I expect that MPFC Academy nurtures these young talents and improves their game,” said the director.

MPFC has sent a three-membered coaching staff to Lucknow for selecting the potential players for their Youth teams. The coaches were keen to support the players and help them with their weaknesses. “The coaches have had one-on-one conversations with the unselected players to help them improve their skills. This is the best thing I have seen from any coach. I’m thankful to the three coaches from MPFC for being supportive,” expressed Neeraj.

Apart from participating in the trials, all the Techtro Football Club players have lent their helping hands to the coaching staff of Minerva Punjab FC in organizing the trials. From assisting the coaches to handling the logistics, Techtro Football Club has left no stone unturned to ensure the smooth flow of the trials on the ground.

“Techtro Football club has helped endlessly in organizing the MPFC Youth trials in Lucknow. Techtro FC’s organizing team has assisted the coaching staff despite the rain. We never saw the environment created by an organizing committee like this ever before. The Scouting was impressive. With the support of the Techtro Football club, the footfall of the aspirants was more than expected,” said Coach Ashutosh, who was part of the coaching staff of MPFC.

The players have shown great enthusiasm for the sport in spite of the rain. The crowd has witnessed few spectacular long balls, dashing finishes, and bold saves. Six participants have succeeded by making it to the final round on the first day of the trials. Two players were selected from the age category of U11, whereas the coaches picked four players from the U13 category. The second day of the event consisted of trials for U15s and U18s, which took place on the 14th of July. Over 250 applicants from the U15 category were divided into ten batches. 23 players have cleared the preliminary round, out of which six people made it to the final list.

Similarly, from the U18 category, 22 participants have made it to the preliminary round, which includes 5 players from Techtro Football Club. 11 players consisting of 3 players from Techtro Football Club have advanced to the next round. Finally, 4 players were selected, out of which 3 players are from the Techtro Football Club. The selected players from the Techtro Football Club are Rohan Kumar (17), Ranjit Pariyar (17), and Abhay Yadav (17).

The selected participants have taken part in the final round of trials in Chandigarh, where all the finalists from various regions including Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Talala, Ernakulam, etc. have competed under the eyes of the then manager of Minerva Punjab FC, Yan Law, and Ranjit Bajaj on 23rd of July.

“The football culture in Lucknow is improving. Guest Reception is incredible here. The turnout was more than expected, especially the aspirants from the categories U15s and U18s,” said coach Sage Pradhan. He further added, “ The organization was brilliant. This is probably the first time we have received such good reception during trials. Thanks to Techtro Football Club for being a part of the trials.”

“The atmosphere and the hospitality in Lucknow are very pleasing,” said coach Sohan Singh. “We are satisfied with the number of players who took part in the two-day trials, particularly with the aspirants from day two,” added Sohan when asked about the participation. “Looking forward to conducting trials in Lucknow in the future. The warmth showed by the Techtro Football organizing committee has turned the atmosphere into a homely one. The players and the staff from Techtro FC have been beneficial. I hope that the Techtro Football club continues its steps towards the betterment of Indian Football. I hope that the players from the Techtro Football club reach great heights in the future and also get selected to the Indian National Football team,” concluded coach Soham.

                                                                                          A group photo of Techtro FC players and MPFC coaches.

The coaching staff from MPFC has commended the efforts put in by the volunteers of Techtro Football Club in organizing the event by presenting the scarves and pennants of Minerva Punjab Football Club.