A small village from Bhiwani district has made it to headlines as Alakhpur Football Club (AFC) is all set to debut in the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL). The story of the journey is incomplete without the unflinching support of the villagers and Gordhan Das. It won’t be surprising if I tell you that AFC is unbeaten, having won two matches, in the inaugural edition of the IWL.
The story started a decade ago when Gordhan Das, a physical training instructor at village’s government high school, came to the village. A qualified Kabaddi coach, got a small bunch of girls to play football during recess time. With the little support from the villagers Das founded the Alakhpura Football Academy at the government-run sports academy. A decade later, Das is a familiar name in the area and have 200 girls coaching under him.
The AFC has produced many talented women footballers who made it to the national level. These girls have not only supported their home but also have earned prize money and accolades at various levels. These girls who never had experience of travelling by train are making to U-14, U-17, U-19 team to play internationals. Mostly daughters of farm labors, these girls have started rewriting history. The team formed under the guidance of Das won the U-14 and U-17 titles to become the state champions in 2009. The team formed with AFC players from Haryana women’s football team has won the U-19 school nationals for three consecutive years (2014-16).
The AFC has produced many remarkable players who made it to the big stages and 8-7 players of the women team have been from the academy. Earlier it was stitched football and bricks for corners, now with the help of state government sports ministry and villagers the strengths has grown. Now the club has proper football gears, jersey and specially built field. Thanks to girls who are able to prove that they are no less than anyone if provided proper guidance and fulfill the goals. In future we will be surely seeing many players from AFC who will be making it to the national & international levels.