J&K Bank senior football team coach, Hilal Rasool Parray who is highly regarded in national football arena was on Sunday introduced as head coach by Tata Steel for its Jamshedpur FC Reserves Team that will be playing in Second Division I-League starting from March 14.
Tata Steel on Sunday introduced the Jamshedpur FC Reserves Team which will be the bridge between the senior team and the TFA graduates.
AIFF recently changed the format and number of teams for the second division I-League. 18 teams comprising of seven Indian Super League (ISL) clubs, reserve teams (Except ATK, Northeast United FC, Mumbai City FC) who will compete in the preliminary round have been divided into three groups. The Preliminary round will kick-off on March 14 and will continue until May 15. Teams will play on a home and away basis within the group.
It will be for the first time that ISL reserve teams would be competing in the league. Second Division I-League also include two Kashmir based clubs who have been kept in Group-A which includes, Real Kashmir FC, Lonestar Kashmir FC.
Jamshedpur FC have been kept in Group-C that includes JSW Bangalore, Chennaiyin, Langsning SC, Mohammedan SC and TRAU.
It will be first time that a Kashmiri coach has been handed helm of any professional football team outside State. Previously Hilal Parray has helmed the affairs of Lone Star Kashmir FC in second division I-League. Jamshedpur FC will start its campaign against Mohammedan SC in Kolkatta on Wednesday.
Hilal is J&K Bank employee who is NIS qualified coach and also possesses AFC-A license coaching certificate. He has also got professional license to coach.. Hilal this year was entrusted with the job of coaching J&K Bank senior team and was able to lead them to Premier Division League title as well as other three title wins. With J&K football going through off-season currently, Hilal opted to be part of ISL side like Jamshedpur FC when presented with the opportunity to expand his experience and coaching profile further.
“It is big thing to be part of the team like Jamshedpur FC who are owned by Tata Steel. The foundation of Jamshedpur FC is very strong as over the years they have been grooming young footballers in the academy. Majority of my team comprise the graduates from our own academy. I am thankful to J&K bank for allowing me to be part of the team that will help me to learn new things of the game,” Hilal said.
About the challenge, he said, “Competition will be tough as there are now ISL teams in the league. It is good thing for Indian football as the competition at base will improve. Even if ISL team like ours will top group they can’t qualify for main round. ISL teams are there to improve standard and competition”