From the President’s Desk
Chennai City FC - ready to raise the bar
The Hindu Newspaper, 05/05/2015

Chennai City FC, the new champion in the first division of the St. Joseph’s-Chennai Football Association league here recently, is on a mission to replicate that success in the senior division.
With a wonderful blend of attack and defence, Chennai City FC scored a whopping 62 goals (11 matches) and conceded just four goals to win all its matches.
Rohit Ramesh, owner of Chennai City FC, says one of the primary objectives of the team now is to “win the [senior div.] league and score an average of 2-3 goals in every match. We want to raise the bar.”
Striker Samuel Jackson from Ghana, was the toast of its campaign, emerging the top-scorer with 23 goals.
“It was a complete team work. But Soosairaj (left winger), Rejin (forward), Beautin (right wing) and Samuel Jackson (striker), who was the prize catch, played a vital role,” says Rohit.
He attributes the success to the meticulous pre-season training the team had. “We finished our sourcing of talent by September last year and by the next month had started training. We had enough time and space to train at Kumararaja Muthiah HSS.”
The other highlight of the team was the composition of the unit wherein the majority of players came from Thoothoor (a costal village in Kanyakumari district).
E. Sugumaran, secretary Chennai Football Association and coach of Chennai City, says he selected youngsters from the village because of their superior fitness and skill. “Moreover, the fact they regularly play football on the beach sand does help in ball skill and control,” he says.
Rohit is of the opinion that the dimensions of the senior division league will change even more in the coming years with the entry of more private clubs — five now (if Madras Sporting Union defeats Income Tax in the first division play-off match for the second place, it will be six). “It will certainly improve the quality of football. More players will opt for private clubs,” feels Rohit.
Will Chennai City FC be able to do an encore in the senior division? Sugumaran admits that it would be difficult, but asserts “we will do our best.”
" I had a dream; a dream that is now a thing of the past.

It’s true that when the right time comes, things fall in place. I can say that it was at one such instant that Mr TR Govindarajan (former owner of the club) and I crossed paths. He was looking for the right buyer; I was eager. Some two-months or so ago, one sunny afternoon, we signed the papers and sealed the deal, exchanged promises and assurances, saw a vision together and kicked it high into the universe to let it do what it does best, manifest it into reality, just like it had this time. I officially owned a football club; something that I had envisaged, hoped for and dreamt of, for as long as I can remember.

Alongside the joy and glory of possessing the Chennai City Football Club, came the onerous, daunting and overwhelming responsibility and obligation to uphold, sustain and preserve its prestige and caliber. So naturally, I got down to work straightaway. I began to dream again.
Chennai City Football Club was one of the top teams and in the senior division league for a good many years until three-years-ago, when it was demoted to the first division league. Top on the list is certainly to scale up and win what was ours, back. In today’s day and age, a catalyst for easy growth is a good deal of exposure. Hence, national, and eventually international exposure for the team is top priority. Exploring the possibility of tying up with sports clubs across the world and engaging in exchange programs that will facilitate world-class training methods and techniques, and enable our players to have that edge over the others occupies another significant position. In fact, exposure not only in terms of the technicalities and the sport per se, but also other little, and perhaps neglected nuances. For instance, diet schemes. Across the globe, stalwarts have designed varied diet schemes and charts for different purposes and people. However, in our part of the world, we are used to that one-stop-diet-solution for all purposes, for all people. The idea is to break that! To invite experts from different fields to impart relevant knowledge to our players and give them just what they need. Also on the agenda is pumping in funds and converting it from a not-for-profit organization into a full-fledged company.
I must tell you, we care for the team. And immensely… and hence we don’t believe in holding onto them through mere modes of formalities. Unlike the usual protocol of signing up contracts with players for years together, our contracts are shorter and allow for feasibility and flexibility and therefore, naturally lead to better relationships and a stronger team. You need to play with us to understand that one better!
Signing off hoping that my next note will begin with the exact same line… I had a dream; a dream that is now a thing of the past.”
Rohit Ramesh
President, Chennai City Football Club