‘Kick’-starting the Footballing Season

‘Kick’-starting the Footballing Season

Harsh Mohan | Aug 20, 2018

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The new session in the footballing world at NIT Rourkela started with the unofficial match between the Institute team and the Freshers team on the 16th of August. The event initially planned for the 17th was preponed a day due to the gracious visit of the Director Prof. Animesh Biswas. This was followed by the induction program on the 17th of August. Every year the institute organises friendly matches between the freshers and official institute teams to break the ice and to kick-start the sports session for the year. Going by this tradition an official Freshers vs Institute team match was organised on the 18th of August.

16TH AUGUST, 2018: The day had witnessed splattering of raindrops throughout and the field was drenched by the evening. The pouring rain might have washed away the ground soil but not the determination of freshers who were keen to impress. A freshers’ team was formed on that very day based on the practice sessions held the previous week and the training matches played between both sides.

This day the event was graced by the presence of several dignitaries including the esteemed Director Prof. Animesh Biswas, Prof. S. Panigrahi Dean, Student Welfare and Dr T. R. Patnaik, Officer In Charge, Physical Education.

Prof. S. Panigrahi in a pre-match comment said,

I see the atmosphere filled with football fervour. The field is smiling with the festive delight of spectators, freshers and institute team players. I hope to see a great match ahead.

The director who arrived at 6:30 pm was received amidst applause from players and the spectators. He proceeded to midfield to greet the players who shook hands with him and introduced themselves. Prof. Animesh Biswas who himself is a football fan expressed his love for the game and appreciated the enthusiasm of the players while returning.


The game which started at around 7:00 pm was played in two halves, each of which lasted for thirty minutes. The opening exchanges saw both the teams start on a positive note. Freshers team seemed unfazed by the occasion and were not intimidated by their much more experienced opponents. Nevertheless, the Institute Team marked their authority over the proceedings with an early strike. This might have dampened the spirit of any new team but this freshers’ team, in their yellow jersey, continued to fight back, equally hard. Heading into the break, when the scoreboard read 2-0, the calm evening had been transformed into one charged with excitement. The match has turned into a battle of jealous vigour vs experience and coordination.

The freshers’ team needed regrouping and they came out with an increased sign of intent in the second half. However, the experience of playing as a team was naturally lacking among the freshers and the wet turf at Dilip Tikrey Stadium was adding to their difficulties as they were not accustomed to playing in such conditions. This was noticed by the observant and experienced Institute team, who used it to their advantage and extended their lead to a 4-0 win by the time the whistle blows announcing the end of the match. The goals were kicked by Pratyush Dash, Tamo Talom, Amrit Puhan and Ponnanna Bopaiah thus leading the institute time to a decisive victory.


17TH AUGUST, 2018: The final inductions happened this day with 18 fresh faces inducted for the position of the goalkeeper (1), midfielder (10), defender (4) and forward (4). The abode in sporting arena presented by NIT Rourkela had inspired 54 newbies to come up for the inductions. Considering the amount of talent that NIT Rourkela receives each year it has never been easy to scout out a few, nevertheless, new players were inducted based on their performance in the training matches, skills and dedication.

To quote the Captain Sidhant Das,

This year we have plenty of talent with huge potential in different positions. They have the latent to win any match and we hope we will be able to nurture their talent by proving a better training. I found them very hard working, punctual and enthusiastic. These are the things we look for in players apart from the basic footballing skills.

Speaking of his plans for this academic session he spoke,

I am looking forward to this year. This year our primary focus is on performing better at the inter-NIT football which is to be organised on our home ground and the NIT Rourkela Sports fest Vriddhi.


18TH AUGUST, 2018: The official football friendly was played between the freshly inducted team and the official Institute team. This time the match was played in daylight from 5:30 onwards. The spectacle which lasted for 90 minutes saw the institute team, led by their captain Sidhant Das, winning the match yet again with a score of 5-0. The freshers’ team presented a better coordination and teamwork and an outstanding performance by their goalkeeper who saved several goals during the early minutes of the match. Nevertheless, experience and indomitable spirit to win against any opponent led the institute team to victory. The match ended with the two teams meeting in a gesture of embracement.

Speaking of the match the Institute team Captain Sidhant Das said,

We won by 5-0 but the freshers presented a better show this time. They showcased improvements from the last time we played.

The freshers said,

We lost by 5-0 but it was a good learning experience and a great feeling.

Meant to serve as a welcoming act for the freshers into the sports community of NITR, the match was of much more significance than just that. There couldn’t have been a better teacher of the values which NITR holds dear – persistence, patience and teamwork. Nor could there have been a better apercu of the sports legacy of NITR.


During its three day visit to DTS, team MM noticed the problems faced by the teams practising there. These include the bad field condition during the monsoons and the winters. Speaking on this Sidhant Das said,

During monsoon, the field is too muddy and during winters it is too dusty making the stadium unfavourable for both football as well as the athletics team to practice.

The malfunctioning of floodlights was another major issue the team faces. He said,

I have never, in my 3 years, played under all the sixteen lights. They are repaired only when there is some kind of a tournament.

This problem with floodlights persisted during the match on the 16th when five out of 11 working floodlights went out ten minutes into the match rendering half the field into darkness. This very issue was communicated to Director Prof. Animesh Biswas on his visit to the field and an action/response is still awaited. Furthermore, the absence of any backup power to the floodlights caused the freshers’ vs Institute match disrupted for several minutes when the institute went out of power that very night.

The team has also demanded a full-time coach rather than a two-month practice session with a temporary coach for proper training and organisation of the team.

Team MM hope that this plethora of difficulties faced by the institute team would soon be solved so that the team has better facilities to prepare themselves for Vriddhi and Inter-NIT football tournaments.


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