THE Cochrane Football Club (CFC) under the Cochrane FC Football Academy (CFA) have come a long way since they started three years ago with just five players.
To celebrate their third-year anniversary earlier this month, they organised the Piala Nantha Kumar Under-12 football carnival at the City Hall field in Kampung Pandan.
A total of 16 teams took part in the carnival with all but one team from Kuala Lumpur, Penang’s Akademi Bolasepak FC (ABFC), who emerged as the champions of the day.
Bolstering the carnival-like atmosphere at the tournament were parents who cheered and supported their respective teams and had also made the event a picnic outing with packed foods and drinks.
The Nantha Kumar Trophy was donated by CFC FA president K. Nantha Kumar, while the event was managed by JMD Enterprise with the club’s committee members.
Several other well-wishers from Touchtronics Engineering, IRC Seremban, Melwood FA, TMJ Success Management, Datuk Seri GV Nair and RS Maniam also made the tournament a success.
The CFC FA has been in existence as a social football club since 1988 and was officially registered with the Registrar of Societies last year.
Meanwhile, the CFA has been in existence since 2017, having started off with only five boys who trained at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur.
They moved to their present grounds one year on and now have close to 70 boys training on weekends, headed by the academy’s president S. Sivaprakash and coaches S. Harrison, T. Thomas, R. Subramaniyam, Bathuruzzaman Razak, G. Rajanikhanth, Rashid Abdullah, K. Sivakumar, Pannir Selvam Francis, R. Balamurugan and Ali Mohideen Abdul Rahim.
Remarkably, all the coaches were students of Cochrane School and are currently residing around the area or had done so at one time.
Sivaprakash and Thomas have played for the Kuala Lumpur youth team together with goalkeeper coach Harrison while Subramaniyam and Sivakumar were members of the former KL Malay Mail FC team. Bathuruzzaman used to be a national youth goalkeeper.
Sivaprakash said the tournament was aimed at developing younger grassroots players.
“We included our Under-10 team in the tournament and as expected, they did not make it far.
“But the main aim of them participating was to give them a chance to gain tournament experience.
“The academy is planning to send our players in different age groups to take part in other tournaments this year to further expose them to tournaments.“Our next tournament will be for the Under-16 boys in the Malaysian Indian Metal Traders & Recycler’s Association (MIMTA) International Cup Under-16 9s in April, ” he added.
This year, CFA will be setting up a branch academy targeting football enthusiasts aged from seven to 17 from Sentul at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital grounds starting from March 7 onwards.
The carnival received support from many ex-Kuala Lumpur, ex-Selangor and ex-international players who turned up to give their support and mingle with the participants.
Among those who turned up included K. Gunalan, L. Suresh, A. Jayakanthan, K. Ramachandran, M. Pavalamani and P. Saravanan.
Sivaprakash’s childhood friend, Malaysian bodybuilder Mohd Syarul Azman, better known as Mike Mahen, four times winner at the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation (WBPF) World Championships, was also present to add a touch of glamour to the tourney.
The tournament winners, ABFC Penang, received medals, trophies and a cash prize of RM1,000. The runners-up, Bukit Bandaraya FC, took home RM500 along with medals and trophies, while Cochrane School emerged third with the hosts CFA having to be content with fourth spot.
Top eight finishers:
Champion: ABFC Penang
Runners-up: Bukit Bandaraya FC
Third: SK Cochrane
Fourth: Cochrane Football Academy
Sixth: SJK (T) Vivekananda PJ
Seventh: SJK (T) Castlefield
Eighth: SJK (T) West Country
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