The 7-month long DYL season came to a despairing end when the ball rolled past Kutumb's U-13 goalkeeper into the net for the fifth time. Despite the 5-1 loss to IYSA, the 10 boy-1 girl team walked out to an encouraging round of applause with it's head held high. The maturity displayed by the pre-teens certainly ranked high in our hearts; Gautam, Nitesh and I (the coaching staff) felt as if a mission had been accomplished. For the first time, our team talk was different; we had no plans, strategies and problems to discuss. We let them munch on their bananas and sip their frooties (mango drinks) in peace.
The second half of the tournament proved to be more fruitful. The tactics, skills and detailed plans discussed in training were all enthusiastically executed on the big stage. 2/6 podium finishes meant that 30% of the players ended the season with trophies in their hands. For many, the sense of joy clearly indicated that it was the first major accomplishment in life.
While our U-8 team finished just a point ahead of Manhattan in third, no luck came the U-9 team's way despite a brilliant season. The unavailability of our key U-9 strikers was the main reason for an 8th place finish. Though the U-11 boys beat their rivals, Panther Cubs, on two occasions, they had to settle a point behind them with a runner's up trophy (shown in the picture above). The U-13 and U-15 teams ended an average season coming in at 6th and 7th respectively. Last (and the least), the U-19's had an abysmal run this season, conceding almost an average of 6 goals/game and ending at the bottom of the table. However, with the pressure of their examinations and hectic studying schedules, they have a reason to be excused.
Well, overall the teams showed great potential this season. Although not a dominant force this season, The Kutumb Foundation will surely look to build on its 2013/14 season. Training has already begun much in advance of the next season. We have a lot to discuss and work on, so let's hope this early pre-season start works in our favor!