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MDFA Elite Division SET to kickoff on 29th September

Written by: Sabin Castelino

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This is the 15th edition of the state's top flight.

The Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) has announced that the new season of the Elite Division of the Mumbai Football League also known as the Harwood League will kickoff from 29th September 2017. This will be the 105th edition of the league which has undergone a massive transformation over the years. The current league is played in the league format with the table toppers being crowned champions.

The 2016-17 season saw former I-league club Air India being crowned champions after a dominant campaign. The league is made up of professional and semi-professional teams. The semi-professional teams are mainly run by Public Sector Undertakings such as Western Railway, Union Bank of India, Mumbai Customs, Maharashtra State Police, Air India, Central Bank of India and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India.

Since the turn of the century, Mahindra United have been the most successful club, winning the title a total of 8 times since 2000. Of these, the first five were won consecutively and only in 2005 were Maharashtra State Police able to dislodge the champions only for them to go and win it again three more times before shutting shop. Second to Mahindra are Air India who are also the current champions.


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This season will see new entrants in the form of Mumbai Strikers and Century Rayon who were runners-up in the Super Division which was dominated by Air-India's U-19 team. Rashtriya Chemical Fertilizers and Indian Navy have been relegated and Mumbai FC’s absence in the initial schedule clearly shows that their intention to shut down is no more a rumour.

According to sources at MDFA, the newly elected committee plans on holding this year’s league in as professional a manner as possible. A senior member under the condition of anonymity said, “Mumbai Football is going to reach once again to the heights as it was in the 80’s and 90’s and the Elite Division will lead the way. MDFA has done a lot of investment in this aspect. The website and Facebook page are the first steps in that direction.”

The season ahead is going to be indeed riveting with all teams wanting top honours. Air India will want to continue their dominance and ONGC will be their closest rivals. Western Railway and Maharashtra State Police have bolstered their squad by recruiting players from their regional units. Kenkre FC will be fielding one of the stronger sides as they look to be also fielding the same team in the 2nd Division I-league. Their erstwhile 2nd Division I-league rivals PIFA (Premier India Football Academy) will also like to spoil the party for the other teams.

New entrants, Century Rayon have invested heavily in player recruitment and look to continue their good run from the Super Division in the Elite. Mumbai Strikers boast of having one of the more professionally maintained teams and have steadily risen through the ranks to reach to the Elite Division. One of the coaching staff had claimed that Mumbai Strikers follow the Dutch style of playing beautiful football and it was the main reason for their ascent.

Looking forward to the start of a wonderful season, Khel Now will be the place to follow all the action happening in Mumbai Football League’s Elite Division. The following are the first part of the fixtures as released by the MDFA.

MUMBAI DISTRICT FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

Governing body of football for Mumbai City & Suburbs

 

ELITE DIVISION (FixtureNo. 1) 2017-18

29-09-17

 

Western Railway S.A.

V/S

Union Bank of India

 

FRI

 

 

 

 

 

01-10-17

 

Karnataka Sporting Assn.

V/S

Western Railway S.A.

 

SUN

 

 

 

 

 

04-10-17

 

Century Rayon

V/S

Mumbai Customs

 

WED

 

 

 

 

 

06-10-17

 

Kenkre F.C.

V/S

M.S. Police

 

FRI

 

 

 

 

 

07-10-17

 

Air India

V/S

Mumbai Strikers

 

SAT

 

 

 

 

 

08-10-17

 

ONGC

V/S

Union Bank of India

 

SUN

 

 

 

 

 

11-10-17

 

Central Bank of India

V/S

Century Rayon

 

WED

 

 

 

 

 

13-10-17

 

PIFA-Colaba F.C.

V/S

Kenkre F.C.

 

FRI

 

 

 

 

 

14-10-17

 

M.S. Police

V/S

Mumbai Customs

 

SAT

 

 

 

 

 

15-10-17

 

Mumbai Strikers

V/S

ONGC

 

SUN

 

 

 

 

 

16-10-17

 

Air India

V/S

Central Bank of India

 

MON

 

 

 

 

 

22-10-17

 

Western Railway S.A.

V/S

Mumbai Strikers

 

SUN

 

 

 

 

 

23-10-17

 

PIFA-Colaba F.C.

V/S

Century Rayon

 

MON

 

 

 

 

 

25-10-17

 

Karnataka Sporting Assn.

V/S

Mumbai Customs

 

WED

 

 

 

 

 

28-10-17

 

Air India

V/S

Union Bank of India

 

SAT

 

 

 

 

 

29-10-17

 

Western Railway S.A.

V/S

Kenkre F.C.

 

SUN

 

 

 

 

 

30-10-17

 

Central Bank of India

V/S

ONGC

 

MON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published: Thu Sep 28, 2017 01:39 PM IST

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