Bengaluru FC clinched the title in the inaugural edition of the development league.
The RF Development League (RFDL) came to its conclusion on May 12, 2022. The inaugural edition of the competition witnessed Bengaluru FC being crowned champions after they ended their campaign with 19 points in seven games. The Blues were the only unbeaten side in the league with six wins and a draw.
The league comprised eight teams. As per the final league standings, the teams are – Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC, FC Goa, Reliance Foundation Young Champs, Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC.
In this article, we will be sharing the RF Development League (RFDL) Team of the Tournament. Let’s find out which players have made it into the side.
Goalkeeper: Sachin Suresh (Kerala Blasters)
The 21-year-old goalkeeper played six matches in the RF Development League. Notably, he was also a part of the Indian Super League side for the Blasters. Suresh was awarded the Golden Gloves after he kept six clean sheets in the tournament.
Right-back: Muhammad Safique Ahmed (Hyderabad FC)
Safique played a vital role in Hyderabad FC’s third-place finish in the league. He played all the matches in the competition. The 19-year-old appeared as a right-back on three occasions (HFC won all three) and as a centre-back in the other matches.
Centre-back: Robin Yadav (Bengaluru FC)
The 20-year-old played an integral role in sealing Bengaluru FC’s title. He played all seven matches in the competition and helped in securing four clean sheets. Robin even scored a goal in Bengaluru’s adventurous 5-0 victory over Mumbai City.
Centre-back: Nihal Sudeesh (Kerala Blasters)
Sudeesh stood out as an important member of the Blasters. In the RFDL, he appeared to be a rock at the back for Tomasz Tchorz’s side. Notably, he scored four goals in the competition, including a brace against Jamshedpur FC.
Left-back: Lastborn Mawphniang (Bengaluru FC)
The 18-year-old failed to make it into the starting line-up in the first two fixtures. Finally, against Hyderabad FC, he got a chance to portray his skills. Lastborn emerged as a regular after that match and went on to score four goals in the RFDL.
Right-midfield: Joseph Lalvenhima (Chennaiyin FC)
Joseph made seven appearances in the competition. Although his team ended seventh in the table, the 19-year-old shined bright. In the competition, he played mostly as a defensive midfielder but scored two essential goals against Mumbai City while playing as a right-winger. His other goal came against Jamshedpur in the second match.
Central-midfield: Jovial Dias (FC Goa)
Jovial Dias appeared six times in the RFDL. In the process, he went on to score four goals. Notably, he scored a brace in a 3-1 win over Kerala Blasters.
Central-midfield: Brison Fernandes (FC Goa)
Brison Fernandes wasn’t a new name, as he had already appeared twice for FC Goa in the ISL. The RFDL witnessed Brison scoring three goals and turning out to be one of the crucial components for the Gaurs. This performance shall motivate him to perform even better and earn more opportunities in the ISL itself.
Left-midfield: Bekey Oram (Bengaluru FC)
The midfielder became the best player in the tournament and earned the Golden Ball in the process. Bekey scored four goals in seven appearances for the Blues.
Centre-forward: Vincy Barretto (Kerala Blasters)
Vincy Barretto had already earned praise in the ISL, where he played mostly as a winger. However, in the RFDL, he plied as a striker in five matches and scored thrice.
Centre-forward: Rahul Raju (Bengaluru FC)
Rahul Raju earned the Golden Boot award in the RFDL and is currently the talk of the town. In seven appearances, he netted the ball home seven times. With a successful RFDL campaign, it can be questioned if Raju is moving forward to fill up the void which would be created by Sunil Chhetri after his retirement.