Emotional final for coaches: NAC and ANFA U - 19 in Final
Nepal Army Club (NAC) coach Rajukaji Shakya is probably under immense pressure regarding Sunday´s final match of the ongoing Club Level National Football Tournament being held in Anbu Khaireni.
Though he is the coach of both the finalist teams, he is in Anbu Khaireni as the coach of the army team. Whether the army team or ANFA Academy U-19 wins the match, he will be happy, but he wants NAC to win it as he is in Anbu Khaireni as its coach.
Kishor KC, assistant coach of the U-19 team, has taken charge as the coach in Anbu Khaireni, as Shakya is coaching the army team.
Shakya and KC are not new to NAC and ANFA team. KC was a coach for the NAC team during the 2062 martyrs´ memorial league.
“I am providing training to the U-19 team in Kathmandu,” Shakya said. “But the matter is different here, as I am here as the NAC coach. Such things happen in professional football and right now my duty is to guide NAC to victory.” The NAC is eager to take home its first title of the year.
The match is an emotional test for Shakya. It will really be a hard task for the NAC to beat the youngsters of the Academy, and NAC and the Shakya himself need to work very hard for it.
The Academy team is not an easy opponent like the Himalayan Sherpa whom they beat in the semis 3-0. The final match will prove a real test for NAC. The NAC has been taken as the main contender for the title after Nepal Police Club, the 2063 league winner, crashed out of the tournament in the first round. The Police was sent home by the Armed Police Force (APF) team and the APF´s run was stopped by the U-19 team in the semis 3-1.
Academy skipper Nirajan Malla who is very aggressive in the ground would be the greatest threat to NAC. He scored an attractive goal from 25 yards against the APF. “It would have been difficult even for me to save the ball, were I there,” commented NAC and national team´s goalkeeper Bikash Malla. "Nirajan is a very good player and he also has the ability to lead the team,” says Shakya. “He is the main weapon of the U-19 team and threat to NAC.”
Academy U-19 team, which has been undergoing training under Shakya since last month, is targeting to cross the qualification round in AFC U-19 tournament next month. Shakya will coach the team in this tournament.
To play the final against the NAC will be a good opportunity for the team. It would boost the morale of the young players after playing against the seniors. If the youth team wins the tournament it would be a bonus for them.
The two finalists have different qualities in them. NAC is known for their fitness. The NAC play with same fitness level and speed throughout the match. But Academy players are technically very sound. The U-19 team have good coordination among the players.
Academy coach Kishor claims that his team is technically better than any other team in the tournament. He said, “The final match will feature technical dominance against physical and we have take it as the preparation for the AFC Championship.”
The U-19 team has shown better coordination and performance in the last two matches. Nirajan has got excellent coordination with midfielders Sujan Shrestha, Shiva Shrestha, Ganesh Khadka and Rupesh KC. Stubborn defenders Rohit Chand, Deepak Bhusal, Niraj Magar and Rabi Thapa will be a challenge for the NAC team.
The NAC team is dominated by new faces in their team. Qualified strikers like Amrit Basnet, Hari Mahato, Jukti KC, Bishwabairag Samal, Raju Tamang and Santosh Nepali have the capacity of changing the game at any moment. Jukti has already proved to be an emerging star in the football arena by exhibiting a brilliant performance in his debut match. The defending line with Mahendra Khawas and custodian Bikash Malla would be difficult for the youth team to break.
The NAC team has not conceded any goal in the tournament. The youth team had reversed at least two matches despite conceding goals in the beginning.