Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Sporting Club are one of the most well known clubs in India and one of the most famous in Karnataka. Based in Bangalore, they are the institutional football club of the reputed company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
They are currently playing in the 2010 season of the 2nd Division I–League and have played in the I-League itself in the past. They are not newbies though, as coach Mr. M. Muralidharan explained to Goal.com.
“The club was formed more than 65 – 70 years ago. Throughout its history HAL has been one of the top teams in Bangalore. We qualified for the first division in 2000 and played in the first division from 2001-2003. After the 2003-04 season, we were relegated to the second division.”
What did he mean when he said ‘top teams’? “We won the Manorama Gold Trophy in Kerala. It was an all-India tournament. We beat Vasco 2-1 in the finals. We are also Karnataka League Champions. We have played in the first division earlier. Now we are in the final round again”.
The management has put in a lot of effort into the club. Mr. Muralidharan had only words of praise for them. “The management is very good. They are very interested in the football team and very cooperative. They have a big budget for the club, almost three crores. They have given us everything we asked for. With all this support we’ll definitely qualify and get 100% results.
In order to be one of the best, a club must have world class facilities. We were left in awe of the facilities the club had for its players. “We have a proper training facility. It has two football fields, a cricket ground, a hockey ground, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a swimming pool, a multi-purpose gym and indoor sports like table tennis and pool. Our football field is one of the best in south India. It is a full grass field and we spent 12 lakh rupees on it last year. We are also planning an indoor stadium in the near future”.
Such world class facilities need to be complemented by good players. We wanted to know where HAL SC got their players from. “We actually have a lot of local players. We try to have a balance between youth and experience. Most of our young players are very talented, having played both in the Santosh Trophy and also the India junior team. Some of them have been selected for the Asian Games as well. We also have a couple of Nigerian recruits. Our boys are talented.”
HAL have made it to the final round of the 2nd Division I-League and will look to qualify for India’s premier football league next season. Mr. Muralidharan is very confident about his chances, previously claiming that his side could have scored 40 goals in the six matches of the Preliminary Round. Whether his side can find their form and prove him right remains to be seen…
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