FC Pune City

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FC Pune City
FC Pune City.png
Full name Football Club of Pune City
Nickname(s) Stallions
Founded 2014; 3 years ago (2014)
Ground Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex
Ground Capacity 9,110[1] (11,900 maximum)
Owner

Rajesh Wadhawan Group

Arjun Kapoor
CEO Gaurav Modwel
Manager Ranko Popović
League Indian Super League
2016 Regular season: 6th
Finals: DNQ
Website Club website
Current season

FC Pune City (FCPC) is an Indian professional football franchise based in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, which plays in the Indian Super League. The club was formed in 2014 with a philosophy to provide stimulus to the growth and development of football in the state of Maharashtra and to participate in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League.[2] The team is owned by Rajesh Wadhawan Group, its promoters Mr. Kapil Wadhawan and Mr. Dheeraj Wadhawan and actor Arjun Kapoor.[3][4]

The philosophy behind the inception of the club was to promote and develop the game of football in the city of Pune right from the grassroots levels onwards. FC Pune City aims to be the club which players passionately aspire to be a part of and a club to whom fans pledge their loyalties.

In 2016, FC Pune City became the only professional football club in India to have teams which participated at all levels of professional football; Senior Team (ISL), U-18 Team (I-League U-18), U- 16 Team, U-14 Team and the Women’s Team.[5]

History[edit]

Inception[edit]

FC Pune City (Football Club Pune City), commonly known as Pune City is a professional football club based in Pune. On 13 April 2014, it was announced that Salman Khan and the Wadhawan Group had won the bidding for the Pune franchise.[2][6] Later due to issues of sponsorships and endorsements, Salman Khan opted to move out from FC Pune City . Serie A’s ACF Fiorentina came on board as technical partners while Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan joined in as the co-owner of the club in its first year of existence.

Season 1 (2014)[edit]

After successfully winning the bid for Pune franchise, The Rajesh Wadhawan Group on 30 July 2014, the revealed its identity. Club CEO Gaurav Modwel launched the team name, logo and brand identity at an event. More importantly, they also announced their head coach in Franco Colomba and marquee player in French football legend David Trezeguet.

The club bolstered its squad with the signing of Kostas Katsouranis in September 2014, as he became the first player in Indian Super League to have played in the FIFA World Cup 2014. John Goossens was among other notable signings for the club. For pre-season, the club travelled to Florence.

The team played their first ever Indian Super League match on 14 October 2014, away to Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi in a 0-0 draw. On 18 October 2014 at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai with an attendance of 28,000, FC Pune City suffered their first loss of the ISL with a 0-5 scoreline to Mumbai City FC.

But they found comfort in their homes in their first ever home game on 26 October 2014 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. FC Pune City beat FC Goa 2-0 in front of a packed stadium to mark their home debut with a win as Kostas Katsouranis and Captain David Trezeguet scored a goal each.

In their second home fixture, the club suffered a 1-2 defeat against Kerala Blasters despite David Trezeguet scoring the first goal for FC Pune City in the 15th minute. Playing their third home game on the trot, the club showed great spirit against NorthEast United FC as John Goossens’ 88th minute header gave FC Pune City a 1-0 win, second in three matches at home.

On 7 November 2014, the club took on Atlético de Kolkata in Kolkata. FC Pune City spoiled the Kolkata side’s party registering a 3-1 win and halting ATK’s unbeaten run. Dudu Omagbemi scored the first goal, Kostas Katsouranis scored the second goal, picking up the Hero of the Match award while Davide Colomba scored the third goal with a deflected free kick.

During the match, John Goossens suffered a serious injury after a collision with his team´s goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya. This injury brought a premature end to Goossens’ stint with FC Pune City for the rest of the season.

After the high against ATK, FC Pune City managed just one win (Mumbai City FC), with three draws (Chennaiyin FC, NorthEast United, Atlético de Kolkata) and four losses (Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Delhi Dynamos & Kerala Blasters) which pushed the team down to sixth place, missing out on qualifying for the knockout stage.

Season 2 (2015)[edit]

In 2015, the club announced English football legend David Platt as the new head coach. A few weeks later, Adrian Mutu was announced as the marquee player alongside Ivory Coast and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora. FC Pune City opened their season in some style registering an emphatic 3-1 win over Mumbai City FC in the Maharashtra Derby on 5 October 2015 at home. Turkish midfielder Tuncay Sanli scored twice while Israil Gurung scored once in the win.

They played their second game of the season at home against NorthEast United FC. An own goal from the North East player Ralte secured the victory for home side.

The third game they played was against Delhi Dynamos FC on 14 October. FC Pune City lost the game 1-2 with Kalu Uche being the sole scorer for FC Pune City. This game saw Jackichand Singh and Eugeneson Lyngdoh making their ISL debut.

Playing their fourth consecutive home game, the David Platt managed side registered a 1-0 win over defending champions Atletico De Kolkata. Jackichand Singh’s goal in the second minute of the match was enough to put the home side on top of the table at the end of the match.

In their next match against Chennaiyin FC, FC Pune City were handed a 1-2 defeat with Kalu Uche reducing the home team’s lead in the 75th minute. Back home, in an exciting match, FC Pune City came down from a goal to win 3-2 against Kerala Blasters. Mohammed Rafi scored a goal in the first minute for Kerala Blasters, the fastest goal ever in the history of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). He scored his second in the 30th minute but it was Kalu Uche’s brace for the hosts (16th and 23rd ). In the 72nd minute, Turkish legend Tuncay Sanli scored the winner for the home team.

This remained the last win for the Didier Zokora-led side. They managed three draws and five losses in the next eight matches putting them in the 7th place.

Season 3 (2016)[edit]

Before the start of the season, the club announced its take over of Pune FC’s Academy. As a part of developing an eco-system, the club not only boosted its preparations ahead of the upcoming season, but also put up a planned approach of turning the club into a football powerhouse.

FC Pune City acquired I-League club Pune FC’s academy and their home-grown talent alongside making a significant investment to upgrade the existing infrastructure by creating top-end training facilities.

Two weeks in to the seaosn, FC Pune City’s Academy product Md. Ashique Kuruniyan got a training stint at La Liga club Villarreal and play for its third team on loan.

For season three, FC Pune City brought in Barcelona and Iceland legend Eidur Gudjohnsen as their marquee player. But during a pre-season training session, Gudjohnsen picked up an injury to end his stint with the club even before it could start. Former Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko was roped in as the new marquee player as ISL winning coach, Antonio Habas joined the club as the new Head Coach.

The season didn’t start as well as expected as FC Pune City registered just two wins (2-1 against FC Goa, 2-1 against ATK) in eight matches, losing their season opener against Mumbai City FC by 1-0 and two other games and drawing three other fixtures. With just two wins (1-0 against Mumbai City FC , 4-3 against Delhi Dynamos) in their next 6 fixtures and three losses and a drawn game put the club in sixth position, missing out on yet another chance to qualify for the knockout stages.

Season 4 (2017)[edit]

FC Pune City announced their participation in the inaugural Indian Women's League 2017. Starting from 28 January 2017 until 14 February 2017, the League had five other teams participating alongside FC Pune City in the final round to be held in New Delhi.

The women’s team in the last one year had won the Late Lance Naik Mohan Goswamy Memorial All India Tournament 2016 in Uttarakhand, Guru Tej Bahadur Football Tournament and Mayor’s Cup in Pune and remained unbeaten in the Pune District Football Association (PDFA) Women’s League on their way to winning the title. In fact in both Guru Tej Bahadur Football Tournament and PDFA Women’s League this side didn’t concede a single goal.

In July 2017, they beat United Poona SA 3-0 in the finals of WIFA Women’s Championship 2017. A brace by Senorita added to Muriel Adam’s goal ensured the win for the outfit in the all-Pune finals played at Cooperage, Mumbai.

In May, FC Pune City announced a strategic alliance with Mizoram's Chanmari Football Club.

Established in 2011, Chanmari Football Club is based in Aizawl and participates in the Mizoram Premier League. The partnership will entail close co-operation between the first teams, academies, youth development, training support and scouting projects. However, the most significant aspect of the arrangement would be the opportunity for Chanmari FC players to represent FC Pune City at some stage in their careers.

As a part of the association, FC Pune City will help the Aizawl-based club build a youth structure providing them with coaches and training equipment. This partnership will enable Chanmari FC to set up youth teams and thereby benefit local Mizoram players to train from a young age in a professional environment.

A few months later in June, FC Pune City’s U-19 team won the prestigious 121st U-19 IFA Shield tournament in its debut season.

A 3-0 win over home team and multiple time champions Mohun Bagan capped their glorious run in the century old tournament that concluded on Sunday. FC Pune City U-19 team was placed in Group B along with U-19 teams of Tata Football Academy, Mohun Bagan, Minerva Punjab. In their run to finals, FC Pune City U-19 team beat Tata Football Academy 1-0. Mohun Bagan 1-0, Minerva Punjab 3-1 before handing AIFF U-19 side 6-5 defeat in penalty shootout in the semifinal.

Come July, the first ever player draft in Indian Super League took place. FC Pune City went into the draft with an eye on acquiring young talent for the coming season.

Signing the likes of Kean Lewis, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Nim Dorjee Tamang and Wayne Vaz as well as retaining the services of the goal-keeper Vishal Kaith, FC Pune City aim to better their ISL record starting November 2017.

Besides, FC Pune City also signed the golden boot winner of the previous year’s ISL, Marcelo Leite Pereira a.k.a. Marcelinho. Forward Emiliano Alfaro joined the ranks too from NorthEast United FC. Bolstering the midfield, FC Pune City signed Marcos Tebar from Delhi Dynamos FC and brought back Jonathan Lucca from last season who alongside Diego Carlos and Robertino Pugliara form the midfield. Rafa Lopez and Damir Grgic have been roped in to strengthen the defense line of FC Pune City.

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

Orange Army: FC Pune City and its management believe that the club’s fans are an extremely important cog in the club’s system. The ‘Fans come first’ policy has led the club to create many ‘firsts’ in Indian football. FC Pune City is the only professional football club to have its own Merchandise Store, which is situated on Fergusson College Road, in the heart of Pune City. Fans can visit the store to buy the Home and Away jerseys of the club or opt to pick up club merchandise from a variety of selections available for sale.

FC Pune City is also the first football franchise in India to launch a digital loyalty program where fans can redeem their points to buy tickets, club merchandise or get discounts at their favourite stores or restaurants.

FC Pune City fans were also able to get free Wi-Fi at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, as FC Pune City became the only football club to have free Wi-Fi for its fans during the Indian Super League.

‘Orange Army’ is the official fan club of FC Pune City, which is known for its vociferous support to the team both home and away. Renowned for travelling in large numbers to support the team across the length and breadth of the country, the Orange Army is held in extremely high regard by the FC Pune City management and the players.

Rivalries: FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC are the only 2 clubs in the Indian Super League from a single state, which created an elite rivalry between the two, one that is now renowned as the Maha-Derby.

The high level of intensity promised during a Maha-Derby never failed to meet fans expectations and their incessant need to defeat their respective rivals kept the fans on the edge of their seats.

In the most recent encounter against Mumbai City FC at Mumbai Football Arena, FC Pune City enjoyed the thrilling Maha-Derby defeating their opponents with a late goal from the super-sub Eugeneson Lyngdoh. With his late winner for FC Pune City, Lyngdoh received the Hero of the Match award in Mumbai.

Residential Academy[edit]

FC Pune City have time and time again proven that they are all about promoting young talent. With respect to their Grassroots programme, FC Pune City provide their junior, women’s and developmental teams with state of art facilities, well-maintained training grounds, and everything necessary to help with their training needs.

In the past year, each of FC Pune City’s Grassroots teams have won a trophy, that includes, the U-11, U-14, U-16 and U-18 teams as well as the women’s team. The U-11 team won the Adidas Uprising tournament, the U-14 team won the SRPF tournament, the U-16 team won the Goa Elite Super Cup and the U-18 team won the IFA Shield beating Mohun Bagan in the finals. FC Pune City was the only ISL team participating in the tournament.

Ownership[edit]

FC Pune City is owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group, its promoters Mr. Kapil Wadhawan and Mr. Dheeraj Wadhawan and actor Arjun Kapoor.

Crest and jersey colours[edit]

The FC Pune City crest is also inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort within the shield, the horses and the flag are borne out of a team with a strong defensive and offensive line-up. The color Orange is synonymous with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whilst the purple color and the flower are identities of ACF Fiorentina, the club which is affiliated with FC Pune City.

Home ground[edit]

FC Pune City plays their home matches at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune. The pitch at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex is of natural grass and its capacity for the Indian Super League Matches is 9210.

Training facilities[edit]

FC Pune City owns 2 training facilities in the city of Pune. The Senior Team trains at the state of the art FC Pune City Training Facility which is situated at Dharawli, Pirangut whilst the Youth Teams train at the Training Pitches in Mamurdi. Both facilities have natural grass pitches.

The development squads of FC Pune City train at the St. Vincent’s High School football ground.

Players and staff[edit]

As of 21 August 2017.[7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 India GK Kamaljit Singh
2 India DF Harpreet Singh
3 India DF Gurtej Singh
4 Spain DF Rafa López
5 India MF Adil Khan
6 Spain MF Marcos Tebar
7 Brazil MF Jonatan Lucca
8 Argentina MF Robertino Pugliara
9 Uruguay FW Emiliano Alfaro
10 Brazil FW Marcelinho
11 India FW Ajay Singh
12 India MF Baljit Sahni
13 India GK Vishal Kaith
No. Position Player
14 India DF Wayne Vaz
16 India DF Sarthak Golui
17 India MF Rohit Kumar
18 India DF Pawan Kumar
19 India FW Kean Lewis
20 Brazil FW Diego Carlos
22 India MF Muhammed Ashique Kuruniyan
23 India MF Jewel Raja
24 India GK Anuj Kumar
31 India DF Lalchhuanmawia
35 India MF Isaac Vanmalsawma
45 Croatia DF Damir Grgič

Under 18 Team[edit]

As of 20 March 2017.[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 India GK Anuj Kumar
22 India GK Kartik Desai
2 India DF Omar Magmoumeh
3 India DF Gursimrat Singh
4 India DF Tarif Akhand
5 India DF Dimple Bhagat
14 India DF Nuruddin Sameer
21 India DF Siamminthang valte
23 India DF SK Sajid Hossain
25 India DF Kiran Saravanan
30 India DF Surya Tirkey
31 India DF Deboprya Das
33 India DF Amit Tudu
35 India DF Sebastian Thangmuansang
No. Position Player
6 India MF Kyntiew Kharlukhi
7 India MF Mohammed Yasir
8 India MF Wungngayam Muirang
13 India MF Gaurav Bora
16 India MF Abhishek Haldar
17 India MF Ashish Rai
19 India MF Daniel Hmar
20 India MF Omega Vanlalhruaitluanga
24 India MF Lalrinawma
9 India FW Gani Ahammed Nigam
10 India FW Nijwm Muchahary
11 India FW Buanthanglun Samte
15 India FW Balkar Singh
26 India FW Amos Lalnienga

Women's Team[edit]

As of 29 March 2017.[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 India GK Rumpa Malik
27 India GK Monika Devi
31 India GK Aparna Rathi
2 India DF Sanam Rathod
4 India DF Darshana Sanas
5 India DF Priyanka Murade
9 India DF Michel Castanha
15 India DF Poli Koley
20 India DF Ella Dubey
22 India DF Soniya Rana
25 India DF Aarya Karpe
No. Position Player
6 India MF Abeer Arsiwala
7 India MF Smriti Girish
8 India MF Alisha Ranikhetwalla
17 India MF Dalima Chhibber
11 India FW Pratima Mukhia
12 India FW Jyoti Ann Burrett
13 India FW Senorita Nongpluh
16 India FW Gita Das
18 India FW Muriel Adam
19 India FW Laura Estibeiro
24 India FW Roja Devi Asem

Technical staff[edit]

As of September 2017
Position Name
Head Coach Serbia Ranko Popovic
Assistant Coach Serbia Vladica Grujic
Assistant Coach / Head of Football (Youth) Scotland Pradyum Reddy
Assistant Coach Croatia Ivica Barbaric
Goalkeeping Coach Turkey Ali Uzunhasanoglu
Team Physiotherapists Serbia Zoran Guga
India Vasanth Bhandi
Team Doctor India Dr. Manit Arora
Team Operations Manager India Ankur Paliwal
Team Masseur India Ramkishan Singh
Kit Manager India Pritesh Mahadik
Youth Team - Head Coach India Anshul Katiyar
Youth Team - Assistant Coach India Mohan Dass

Management[edit]

As of March 2017
Position Name
CEO India Gaurav Modwel

Notable former players[edit]

As of March 2017
Name Country
David Trezeguet FranceFrance
Kostas Katsouranis GreeceGreece
Tuncay Sanli TurkeyTurkey
Didier Zokora Ivory CoastIvory Coast
Adrian Mutu RomaniaRomania
Kalu Uche NigeriaNigeria
Nicky Shorey EnglandEngland
Momo Sissoko MaliMali

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2014 Dida DHFL Pramerica
2015 Adidas Fair and Handsome
2016 DHFL
2017— Suzuki Gixxer

Fan engagement and marketing initiatives[edit]

FC Pune City and its management believe that the club’s fans are an extremely important cog in the club’s system. The ‘Fans come first’ policy has led the club to create many ‘firsts’ in the Indian football market. FC Pune City is the only professional football club to have its own outright Merchandise Store, which is situated on Fergusson College Road, in the heart of Pune City. Fans can visit the store to buy the Home and Away jerseys of the club or opt to pick up club merchandise from a variety of selections available for sale.

FC Pune City is also the first football franchise in India to launch a digital loyalty program where fans can redeem their points to buy tickets, club merchandise or get discounts at their favorite stores or restaurants.

FC Pune City fans were also able to get free wi-fi at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, as FC Pune City became the only football club to have free wi-fi for its fans during the Indian Super League.

‘Orange Army’ is the official fan club of FC Pune City, which is known for its vociferous support to the team both home and away. Renowned for travelling in large numbers to support the team across the length and breadth of the country, the Orange Army is held in extremely high regard by the FC Pune City management and the players.

Team records[edit]

Seasons[edit]

As of 10 September 2016
Year ISL Regular season Finals Top Scorer(s)
P W D L GF GA Pts Pos. Player(s) Goals
2014 14 4 4 6 12 17 16 6th DNQ Greece Kostas Katsouranis 4
2015 14 4 3 7 17 23 15 7th DNQ Nigeria Kalu Uche
Romania Adrian Mutu
4
2016 14 4 4 6 13 16 16 6th DNQ Mexico Aníbal Zurdo 5

Head coach's record[edit]

As of 3 October 2016
Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win%
Franco Colomba  Italy 22 June 2014 20 December 2014 14 4 4 6 12 17 028.57
David Platt  England 2 June 2015 20 December 2015 14 4 3 7 17 23 028.57
Antonio López Habas  Spain 25 April 2016 Present 14 4 4 6 13 16 028.57
Miguel Martinez Gonzalez  Spain 3 October 2016 1 0 0 1 0 1 000.00
  • Martinez coached Pune City during their match against Mumbai City on 3 October 2016 while Habas was suspended.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.indiansuperleague.com/fc-pune-city/venue
  2. ^ a b Basu, Saumyajit. "Stars embrace soccer through Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Deshpande, Nikhil (9 October 2014). "Hrithik Roshan to be Pune City FC Co-owner". Sportzwiki. India. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Share on Twitter. "Salman Khan denies owning ISL team - Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2015-12-23. 
  5. ^ Share on Twitter. "FC Pune City only ISL club to have a team in the inaugural IWL". One India. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  6. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/sachin-tendulkar-sourav-ganguly-salman-khan-ranbir-kapoor-line-up-for-football-league/
  7. ^ "Squad". Indian Super League. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Under 18 Squad". Hero I-League. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Women's Team". Scroll.in. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 

External links[edit]