This Friday afternoon saw the kick-off of what promises to be an exciting Football League within the University with the bidding for players taking place in the canteen from 1:30 pm till 3:30 pm. The idea was originally brought to the Sports Committee by Ankit Sinha (of second year) who has with great humility stated that credits for the entire thing go to the Committee, and not to him individually. What a sweetheart. Liar.
The NLU Delhi Football League comprises of nine teams that compete in a league format. Each team contains eight to nine players comprising of at least one girl player who will have to play compulsorily for ten minutes in each match so as to ensure greater participation from the girls. At the end of the season, the top four teams qualify for the playoffs. The current plan is to continue the league over each semester wherein one season would continue only for one semester. At the beginning of each new season, all the teams get to retain four players while the vacancies left by the outgoing players shall be filled in by the incoming batch and the unretained players shall go back in the roster for auction. Students were requested earlier to send in their names to either play or manage the teams, but managers are not allowed to play in the league.
The League consists of 76 players in total and 9 managers. Each Manager was given a budget of 100 Million to buy eight players. Players were divided based on skill into 3 tiers. The sale of each player began with the base price of the tier within which they were placed. Tier 1: 15 Million, Tier 2: 7 Million, Tier 3: 4 Million. The turn up for the auction was great with students bunking tutorials to stay back for the bidding process. The setting for the auction was an impressive sight as well, with each Manager seated along-with their advisers at the canteen tables, and Sanjeev Kumar standing in between them all, conducting the auction like a boss. The bidding itself was as exciting and entertaining as it was nerve racking as Managers used their shrewd and cunning to create the best team with their fictional budget. On the topic of shrewd and cunning tactics, mention must be made of the Managerial tact of Utkarsh Joshi who chose not to purchase a single player to the point where the organizers reminded him that he was yet to start his team. The man had his eyes on the prize, and purchased Raghav Shukul for a whopping 37 Million (the most expensive purchase of the afternoon). The steal of the auction was Varsha Rao, a state level football player, who was sold to Balwinder Sangwan for the base price of 15 million. The organizers can pat themselves on the back for a very successful auction and start to the debut season of the League. Indeed, they did comment that atmosphere created by everyone was very enthusiastic and encouraging for the organisers. Managers have not decided their team names and jerseys. The only named team as of now is “Football Penalty Research Project”. Balwinder Sangwan is yet to officially make a statement that any similarity to any other project on campus is unintentional and purely coincidental.
There are a lot of expectations from the League after the great start it has had with the auction. The similar league for basketball which was announced to commence recently will hopefully have a lot to live up to. For starters, that would require the basketball board and ring to be fixed though. Progress is being made in that front as well, a promise by yours truly. Till then, we have lots of football to look forward to on the basketball court.
Keep coming for a regular update on the premier season of the NLU Delhi Football League.