Former India footballers GP Palguna, Shabbir Ali, Syed Arif and Victor Amalraj have showered praise on Indian Super League (ISL) club Hyderabad FC for their efforts to bring the city back to the limelight in Indian football.
In a Facebook live session with the city's football heroes on Sunday, the retired footballers reminisced the iconic moments of their career and welcomed the ISL club's efforts to provide the region's talented youngsters with an opportunity.
Palguna, who is currently the secretary at the Telangana Football Association (TFA), said. "(Since) I took over the association, we have been planning grassroots levels. Our football was dead. Slowly our group, all seniors, we are getting together and doing something. We will see, we will do something for the glory of Hyderabad."
The former player, who has offered TFA's training grounds for use by the ISL club. also added that the young footballers in the region have to take their chance.
"Like anything, work hard. Don't expect results in one or two years. What we are doing is that those who are talented are being selected - no backdoor entry. Those who can play football, they will be a selection for nationals (national competitions). My open request to people in Hyderabad is to give suggestions and don't criticise. If anyone has suggestions on how to improve, we will see. My office is at LB Stadium, (and it will be) working from 6 to 8.
"On behalf of TFA, I want to say that we are ready to give our ground. We have good grounds, it is of international level. I request Hyderabad people to practice hard and get the chance to play for Hyderabad FC."
Victor agreed with Palguna and said, "We had a culture and we came up. Now this generation has an advantage, there is ISL and Hyderabad FC. This generation is very lucky, they should take advantage of this.
"Now football is not only in Calcutta. Most players in ISL, although some of them are past their prime, are quality players. Top players are coming in."
Football legend Shabbir Ali believes Hyderabad are doing the right things in Indian football. "I am sure this year, Hyderabad will perform well. Youngsters have got a chance now. Hyderabad FC are planning very well, they have got ample time. It is a step in the right direction. I wish them all the best," he concluded.