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Third Bengal State Championship

Posted on Friday, December 23, 2016 by ARFAI,

Champion North 24 Pgns team

The third Australian Rules Football Tournament in West Bengal organized by Footy Association of Bengal (FAB) – ‘STATE CHAMPIONSHIP 2016’ was held at the Suryapur Milan Sanga, Titagarh, 24 Pgs(N), on 4th December, 2016. In a very contested game between the North 24 Pgns Tigers led by captain Ripon Das defeated South 24 Pgns Eagles by a big margin of 33points (Tigers-6 goals, 8 behind = 44 points & Eagles 1 goal, 5 behind = 11 points) to be crowned as the 3rd State Champions of Australian Rules Football in state of West Bengal.

The tournament comprised team named after the AFL clubs like Richmond Tigers (North 24 Pgns Tigers), Essendon Bombers (Malda Bombers), West Coast Eagles (South 24 Pgns Eagles), GWS Giants (Howrah Giants), Adelaide Crows (Paschim Midnapore Crows) Golden Square FC, Bendigo (Kolkata Gold).

Paul Ritchie – Project Director, Atmosphere Project (E.M.Byepass, Kolkata), Mr. Biswanath Das – Hon. President of Suryapur Milan Sangha, Mr. Tanup Rai – General Secretary of Suryapur Milan Sangha, Mr. P. Goswami – S.D.O Barrackpore, Hon. Ranjit Mukherjee former Indian Football (soccer) Captain and Mr. Bulbul Ahmed – Bengali author, were present to inaugurate the tournament for the 3rd time in the state of Bengal.

The tournament started with the National Anthem of India which got the players pumped up to showcase their willingness to win the coveted Inaugural trophy at Bengal. Footy skills on offer were of very high quality and it was very evident that the kids practiced hard during the year and took the game very seriously. A huge share of this achievement goes to the FAB coaches who travelled to various locations every weekend in the last few years to train new bunch of players, to update the boys on skills and knowledge about the game. Marking and kicking was top notch from most of the players which made almost all the matches very competitive and all the teams were fighting for a place in the ‘Grand Final’. Seniors Indian players and the group of 8 Flinders University students from Adelaide, Australia, helped players understand the rules of the sport better during the matches.

Fliers University students umpiring

In the end the North 24 Pgns Tigers and South 24 Pgns Eagles made it to the Grand Final.

Mr. Ashim Dawn Hon. President of ARFAI, Mr. Rakesh Ghosh Secretary General of FAB, Mr. Pavel Chakraborty Hon. Treasurer of FAB, and senior Indian Footy team players Jasim Akhtar, Arif Ali, Md. Farid, Harris Jamal, Biswajit Das and Sukanta Golder were present to make the tournament a success. It was delightful to have Josh Abbott, Aiden Miller, Lachlan Smith, Christian Thiel, Denis Perry, Aaron Robertson, Kristen Goedecke and Courtney Roberts, all from Flinders University in Adelaide who were in India for a month to intern for ARFAI were present to support, encourage the players.

The presentation ceremony was a celebration of footy in the state where all the teams were presented with medallions and certificates while the “Runners” (Eagles), the “Champions”(Tiger) and the “Fair Play”(Crows) were also awarded trophies for brilliant display of skills and teamwork on the field. For the ‘Best Mark’ award and theBest Goal’ award was won by Koushik Biswas (South 24 Pgns Eagles) and Ambia Hossain (Malda Bombers) the most dominating performance throughout the tournament made Sudip Rajbanshi from the North 24 Pgns Tigers the ‘Player of the Tournament’.

Special acknowledgement required for the FAB officials, who worked tirelessly leading up to the tournament to make the event a grand success. Cheers to many more tournaments in West Bengal as Mr. Ranjit Mukherjee and Mr. Bulbul Ahmed said “Hope to be back here next year for a bigger tournament of Footy!” Now Team Bengal Tigers will get ready for their next destination National Championship 2017 in January at Howrah, West Bengal. Lots of support can make their dream come true in couple of months.