Express News Service
In its 10 years of existence, Kovalam Football Club has inspired hundreds of youngsters from the coastal community in the district and made them dream of a better tomorrow. Now, the club itself is dreaming of a brighter future.
Kovalam was the first club to represent Kerala in the U-16 Youth League last year and their senior side recently won two all-India invitational tournaments in Madhya Pradesh in February.
Functioning under a revamped management, Kovalam are now on the lookout for their own football ground. “We are lagging behind when it comes to a stadium. So, that will be our primary target from now on.” said T J Mathew, the new club President.
“We have already spoken to Dr. Shashi Tharoor, MP who has sanctioned Rs 25 Lakh for the club from the MP fund.
He has also offered to try and include a stadium in the Vizhinjam Port project which we can use for a minimal fee.” said Mathew.
The club has already identified two plots for the stadium and has communicated the same to the MP. “We will have a Club House with office, gym, hostel, tuition centre, library, mess hall, kitchen and a home theatre to aid coaching.” the President said.
“We might not produce Messis or Ronaldos, but have a chance to help at least 40 boys from poor families to emerge from the bottom to the top in their life.” said Tony Langham, one of the club’s founders.
Apart from coaching them, Kovalam FC trainees will also be provided education. For a start, Mathew will sponsor eight footballers through his charity, Mathew-Sally foundation.
‘We have a partnership with a local school as well as VTMNSS College, Dhanucachaouram, We are in talks with Mar Ivanios College as we aim to expand this scheme to 40 footballers over the next few years.” Mathew said.
“In this way, they can also learn football as well as get a degree. But to make this happen, we will need the support of corporate houses in the state.” he added.
Invitation from the US
Youngsters at the Kovalam FC are excited as the club has received an invitation to play in the Manchester City Cup youth football tournament to be held at San Diego, California from May 27 to 29.
“It will be a great opportunity for the youngsters as some of the best youth teams in the world will participate in the event.” said Kovalam FB coach Ebin rose. Their senior team is also hoping to participate in this year’s G V Raja Football Tournament.
“I am confident the future of the club is bright. We have some of the best in the state. We want to win the U-16 I-League in the coming years as well as play in the second division I-League in a few years.” said S Geevarghese.