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Veteran footballers display youthful exuberance

Veteran footballers display youthful exuberance
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Young they may no more be because age has caught up with them but once they stepped on to the ground there was a noticeable transformation. It almost looked like they had not lost touch with the nuances and verve that earned them huge reputations in their halcyon days.

Young they may no more be because age has caught up with them but once they stepped on to the ground there was a noticeable transformation. It almost looked like they had not lost touch with the nuances and verve that earned them huge reputations in their halcyon days.

To the sizeable crowd that was present at the Gymkhana Ground on Saturday, the friendly match between yesteryear football players from Hyderabad and Chennai, including several who donned national and institutional colours, was a closely contested affair, the zeal and enthusiasm intact.

After all, several of the veterans at the nostalgic friendly promotional match that was organised at the behest of A Aleem Khan, DSDO of District Sports Authority (DSA) of Hyderabad, were seasoned campaigners who did their respective outfits proud with their exploits.

They all belonged to an era when football was the in-thing and passion was writ on every player’s face. Alas, it is no more the case. For the records, the match between Hyderabad and Chennai ended in a goal-less draw. However, the score-line hardly did justice to the manner the players ‘fought’ for a win.

If the spirited host players dominated the proceedings for most part of the duration, then their efforts were thwarted by the grit and determination of the visitors, a defensive tactic that was best exemplified by former Railway custodian Raja, who did a remarkable job under the bar.

Unfortunately, the second match, scheduled for Sunday, was called off as the ground had become too slippery following overnight rains. Given the physical bearing of most players and the possible risk factor that was involved, the match was abandoned, pointed out Aleem Khan.

The match was watched, among others, by Dr Mohd Ali Rafath, President of TFA, Dr Venkateshwar Reddy, Joint Director of GHMC and former State Bank of Hyderabad backbone, James Zacharias.

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