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Durand Cup

Durand Cup 2023: All you need to know about Downtown Heroes FC

Published at :July 17, 2023 at 11:42 PM
Modified at :July 17, 2023 at 11:42 PM
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Rutvij Joshi


Downtown Heroes FC had earlier participated in the previous edition of the 2nd Division League.

Downtown Heroes FC, a Srinagar based football club on Sunday became the 24th team to confirm participation in the upcoming edition of Durand Cup. The 132nd edition of the tournament, hosted by the Indian Army will see the tournament being played at four cities, viz Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and Kokrajhar.  It will also be the first time that the century-old tournament will be played in Shillong in Meghalaya and Kokrajhar in Assam.

Downtown Heroes FC will probably be placed in Group D alongside newly promoted I-League side Shillong Lajong FC, FC Goa and hosts Northeast United FC. All the games of Group D will be played in Kokrajhar in Assam.

In this article, we will look at the profile of the club and its recent history in competitions they took part in.

History

Downtown Heroes FC, as the name suggests, is a club from the downtown area of Srinagar in Kashmir. The club was founded in 2020 with the aim of giving Kashmiri youth a chance to pursue a career in football. In 2021, the team took part in the first-ever Jammu and Kashmir Football Association Football Associations league (JAKFA) league in 2021. The club finished third in the eight-team league just below J&K Bank Ltd and Hyderya FC.

Performances in the 2nd Division League

Downtown Heroes FC Srinagar Durand Cup I-League Second Division
Downtown Heroes FC. (Courtesy: DHFC)

The Srinagar based side made their second division debut in the previous edition of the tournament. They were placed in Group A alongside Jagat Singh Palahi FC, Techtro Swades United FC, Mumbai City FC Reserves and Delhi FC, who went on to win the tournament and qualified for the upcoming season of I-League.

The debutants finished the group in second position below Delhi FC with 14 points with four wins, two draws and two losses in eight games. The club, however, missed out on qualifying for the final round but made their mark in Indian football.

Coach - Hilal Rasool Parray

Hilal Rasool Parray Downtown Heroes FC Srinagar Durand Cup I-League Second Division
Hilal Rasool Parray. (Courtesy: The Hindu)

Hilal Rasool Parray is a well-known figure in Kashmir football. The 47-year-old has previously managed J&K Bank and was also the head coach of another Kashmiri side (Lonestar FC) before signing up for the Heroes.  He was also associated with Jamshedpur FC’s reserve side for a brief period.

The Kashmiri side under the guidance of Hilal Rasool Parray will look to leave their mark in the Durand Cup in Kokrajhar when they face teams playing in higher divisions in the Indian football pyramid.

What to expect?

Few of the players who were part of the second division squad will not be available for the tournament and the club is expected to name a squad consisting of local players for the upcoming Durand Cup. This will help the youth in the region with a chance to showcase their ability.

The club is not expected to create any upset should the other teams name their full strength squads for the tournament. Nonetheless, the tournament will give exposure to the young players from the Kashmir Valley.

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