Football infrastructure remains neglected in Lamka, Churachandpur. Despite the town’s undisputed relationship with the beautiful game, only a few football grounds have survived in this fast-developing cosmopolitan town. Locals have to depend on themselves to develop the game, resulting in the recent introduction of artificial futsal turfs. The number of private artificial turfs increased immensely and are now found at every walking distance, paving the way for the beautiful five aside game.
Though futsal turf owners have hosted small futsal tournaments in the past, no proper leagues or tournaments had been organised in town until Churachandpur District Sports Associations, in collaboration with Joy Enterprise, took the initiative to host the ongoing The Hub Super League at Hub The Football Turf.
Hub Super League is a 3-month futsal league, and the momentous initiation of a new trend in the futsal culture launched with 20 clubs and 90 league matches with an immense number of 240 participants. The League kicked off on May 27, 2022, with ten teams each in the two assembled pools. While both pool winners directly advanced to the semi-finals, the top 3 from each pool had to contest in a quarter-final league system for further qualification. Transfer windows were opened mid-season in which the playing teams could recruit and transfer players with the other playing teams.
The League matches were concluded on July 24, 2022, with Lamka Sports Club and Zamkhup FT earning a direct qualification to the Semi-Final. Teams such as FC Pallai, Uthun FC, ZIJU, Smart FC, New Lamka Youth Club, and Champion Sports had to play Quarter-Final League matches to earn a spot in the Semi-final structure. The Quarter-Final League started on June 29, 2022, and the top 3 teams from both the pools played each other twice in a fist-clenching competition. After a tight contest between the six teams, New Lamka Youth Club and Champion Sports came out on top, earning their spots in the Semi-Finals and a chance to win the Hub Super League.
Till now, the statistics from the League show commendable feats, e.g. in the 90 matches that were played, a total of 1283 goals were scored by the players; 2 teams remained undefeated, notably the Zamkhup FT played 9 Matches and set a record of 9 Wins. Meanwhile, the Lamka Sports Club, with 9 Matches, took home 8 Wins, and 1 Draw, retaining their reputation. Further figures show that the New Lamka Youth Club, with 141 Goals under its wings, was the team with the Most Goals in the League round. In contrast, the team with the Most Goals Conceded in League Round was NZG FT, with 148 goals.
After weeks of breathtaking actions, high-scoring games, upsets and dramas, the Hub Super league has reached its semi-final stage. On 6th August at 4 pm, the first Semi-Final match will be played between Champion Sports and Lamka Sports Club. In what promises to be a fierce encounter at Hub, the football turf, Lamka Sports Club will be confident with their unbeaten run and their recent clinching of the glorious District Super Division title. In contrast, Champion Sports, like Thanglun Samte, are expected to show strong resistance and defy odds to book their slot in the Final.
The second Semi-Final match will follow at 4 pm on August 7, 2022. The crowd favourites Zamkhup FT and New Lamka Youth Club will fight for their slot in the Final. Zamkhup FT, undefeated in 9 matches, will be poised with their unbeaten run and good form. With the likes of Bawirousang, the former Hyderabad FC man, Zamkhup FT is expected to present the crowd with a performance to cheer. Meanwhile, the team with the most goals in the League round, New Lamka Youth Club, are bound to keep up their winning momentum. Although it is hard to predict the outcome of the upcoming Semi-final match, the top-scorer award is assured to be clinched by New Lamka Youth Club’s talisman Craig as he has bagged 69 goals to his name so far, and his teammate and nearest challenger Letminlian has showcased a laudable effort and flair too by slotting home 44 goals.
Talk of the town, the collaboration for Hub Super League, one of its kind, has proved to be a successful venture for both parties. And while it provides a platform for exposure to football enthusiasts, it has also proven yet again to be a crowd-puller whilst uniting the community. The forthcoming weekend is awaited in anticipation, the young and the old will once again gather to witness which teams will go ahead and have a shot at the Finals to take home the trophy, and etch their names in the history of the Futsal culture in this small town called Lamka.
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