The rise of AG’s Office football team has been meteoric. Within three years of their revival, the team has won the Kerala State Club Football Championship and the Thiruvananthapuram District Football League and has now qualified for the final phase of the Kerala Premier League (KPL) as one of the four sides.
It was in 2011 that the AG’s authorities decided to revive their sporting endeavours and recruited a batch of five footballers including Kerala Santosh Trophy star forward R Kannan, Saleel K and Abdul Basith after a gap of around 15 years.
This group, along with a few aged legs, under the guidance of coach T V Gopalakrishnan did the unexpected when they lifted the state club football championship in 2011 at Areekode.
The team now boasts of some big names in Kerala football and one that stands out is that of Nasrudheen C, the top-scorer for Kerala in the final rounds of this year’s Santosh Trophy. Having joined from Kerala Police in February, Nasrudheen is looking forward to the new challenge.
“It is one of the best teams in Kerala. We played good football and comfortably cruised past most of the teams in the KPL. I hope we can do much better in the finals of the competition,” Nasrudheen said of the group A matches in KPL that concluded at Kottayam last week.
Indian international Vineeth C K and national team camper Asif K were also recruited in 2012 but the former, for the time being, plies his trade with I-League side Bengaluru FC. There are also two Manipuri players - Obaid and Golmai - on the payrolls of India Post who have put in brilliant shifts for the side.
“I am very happy with the team as they have given their best despite being hit by a lot of injuries. Beating teams like Kerala Police and KSEB in their full strength is a huge achievement,” said Gopalakrishnan, former Travancore Titanium player and coach.
Suresh T P, manager of the team, indicated that the inflow of talent has not yet stopped. “We will be recruiting a few more this year which we hope will be the final pieces in the jigsaw,” he said.
There are also plans to launch a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) combined team in the near future. “There is a proposal to launch a team comprising AG’s Office employees from all states to participate in national tournaments and possibly the I-League second division. We have to see how the project will turn out,” Suresh added.