Jamshedpur, Nov. 2: The 11th convocation of Tata Football Academy (TFA) was held at Michael John auditorium in Bistupur on Monday afternoon.
Tata Steel managing director T V Narendran awarded the certificates and mementos to the graduates in the presence of an august gathering.
Former TFA director and Olympian Chuni Goswami, chairman of TFA board of management Sunil Bhaskaran, CEO of I-League Sunando Dhar, Jharkhand Football Association president Nazm Ansari, Tata Steel chief sports and guest relations Farzan Heerjee and Tata Steel Sports department head Charles Borromeo were present during the convocation.
Having spent many years together at the TFA for their training, Hitesh Sharma, Konsham Chinglensana, Thiyam Chingkheinganba, Aibanbha Kupar, Dohling Shaikhom, Ronald Singh, Sourav Das, Seiminlun Kipgen, Samrat Chowdhury, M Rahul Raj, Asil K, Agiapal Singh, O Romtan Singh and Khaikhogen Kipgen turned emotional today as they will need to bid adieu to one another now.
Chinglesana walked home with the ‘Best Gentleman Cadet’ award. Receiving the award, he said he honed skills and enjoyed his moments at the TFA.
In his address, Narendran said that the players must work hard and think long-term. “There is no substitute to hard work. Talent is necessary but hard work is of major importance,” he added.
Goswami, who played a key role in establishing TFA in 1987, said he feels emotional as well as nostalgic. “I feel glad to be here every year.
It’s like homecoming to me. I joined TFA because of the Tatas and football,” he noted.
It may be noted that four TFA graduates – Thiyam Chingkheinganba (Mumbai FC), Hitesh Sharma (Mumbai FC), Konsham Chinglensana (Shillong Lajong) and Aibanbha Kupar Dohling (Bengaluru FC) – have already signed agreements with different clubs across the country.
Conceived in 1983, Tata Football Academy was inaugurated in 1987. The academy is an intrinsic component of the Tata Ideal manifested in reality. During its first decade of existence, TFA amply proved that systematic training, at the right age and in a proper ambience, pays rich dividends.