Punjab F.C.

Punjab Football Club (previously as Minerva Punjab F.C.) is an Indian professional football club based in Mohali, Punjab. The club competes in the top leagues of India, including the I-League, under licence from the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Minerva, since inception in 2013 as a club, have won the I-League title[4] once, the Punjab State Super Football League title twice, and were also the runners-up of the I-League 2nd Division. Minerva was crowned champions of I-League in 2017–18.

Punjab F.C.
Full namePunjab Football Club
Nickname(s)The Warriors
Short namePFC
Founded2005 (2005), (as Minerva Academy F.C.)
GroundGuru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana
Capacity15,000
OwnerRanjit Bajaj (50%)[1]
RoundGlass Sports (50%)[2]
ManagerYan Law[3]
LeagueI-League
2018–19I-League, 9th
WebsiteClub website

The club is a partnership agreement between Ranjit Bajaj, Founder and Director of MPFC (now Punjab Football Club) and Mohali-based firm RoundGlass Sports. Punjab plays their I-League home matches at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. On October 30, 2019, the club was renamed as Punjab Football Club and 2019–20 I-League would be their first season as Punjab F.C.

History

As Minerva Punjab F. C.

The team was established in 2005 as Minerva Academy and has a football and cricket club. Initially, the team took part in its first major tournament at the national level i.e. I-League 2nd Division and were the runners up for the season. They lost to five-time I-League champions Dempo SC in the Final. They were promoted to I-League after an impressive stint at the 2nd Division. The finished their first ever I-League season at the second last position. They also played the 2016 Durand Cup. They came last in the group stage, and hence couldn't qualify for the semi-finals.

Next season, surprising everyone, they won the I-League title, which was their first league win ever in the top division. They became the first ones from North India to win the league since 1996. This title made the team qualify for their first ever Asian stint. The club qualified for Group Stage of the 2019 AFC Cup along with Indian Super League side Chennaiyin and the Preliminary Round 2. However, they lost to Iranian side Saipa in the preliminary round of the 2019 AFC Champions League and therefore couldn't make it to the play-offs. But, in their AFC Cup stint, they impressed with their unbeaten run of five games until the last group fixture, which they lost against [[Abahani Limited Dhaka]. Minerva were also placed in the Round of 16 bracket of the 2018 Indian Super Cup in which they lost to Jamshedpur 4-5 on penalties.

In the 2018-19 I-League, the club managed to win four of their twenty fixtures and finished ninth in the league table. They were placed in the 2019 Indian Super Cup qualifying round but they refused to play in the tournament protesting against the uncertainty of I-League clubs' future in Indian football. Thereafter, they were also not invited to play the 2019 Durand Cup, which was disappointing for the Punjabi side.

As Punjab F. C.

On 30 October 2019, the announcement was made that after a partnership agreement with Round Glass Sports Private Ltd. the club has been renamed as Punjab Football Club and all their age group and senior teams would be named the same.[5][6]

Fans

A club recognised fan club by the name The Warriors has been in support since 2018. The Guru Nanak Stadium has seen an average attendance of 12,000.

Stadium

The team plays at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula, Haryana, which has a capacity of 12,000 spectators. The stadium did not satisfy the AFC Stadia Regulations for hosting AFC competitions. That's why the club shifted the base to other location for the Asian stint. During the 2019 AFC Cup group stage, Minerva played two of its home games at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, and one of the three home games at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Guru Gobind Singh Stadium

Current squad

As of 1 December 2019[7]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 GK Bhaskar Roy
3 DF Teah Dennis Jr.
4 DF Danilo Quipapá
5 DF Anwar Ali
6 MF Souvik Das
8 MF Maheson Singh Tongbram
9 FW Bali Gagandeep
10 FW Sérgio Barboza Jr.
11 FW Jay Hart
13 DF Bikash Yumnam
15 FW Sanju Pradhan (Captain)
16 GK Kiran Kumar Limbu
18 FW Beikhokhei Beingaichho
19 FW Makan Chote
21 DF Yumnam Raju
22 GK Nidhin Lal
No. Position Player
24 DF Thoiba Singh Moirangthem
25 DF Devansh Dabas
26 DF Imanuel Lalthazuala
28 DF Samuel Shadap
29 FW Paulo Conrado do Carmo Sardin
32 FW Himanshu Jangra
33 DF Munmun Lugun
38 DF Lalrinchhana Tochhawng
49 FW Girik Khosla
50 FW Moinuddin Khan
DF Akashdeep Singh
DF Akhil Verma
MF Amandeep Singh
FW Akash Sangwan
FW Luntinmang Haokip
MF Cavin Lobo

Records

Seasons

Season Div. Tms. Pos. Attendance/G Federation Cup/Super Cup Durand Cup AFC Champions League AFC Cup
As Minerva Punjab F.C.
2015–16 I-League 2nd 10 2 DNP
2016–17 I-League 10 9 2,757 DNP Group Stage DNP
2017–18 I-League 10 1 5,736 Round of 16 DNP Preliminary Round 2 Group Stage
2018–19 I-League 11 9 5,624 DNP
As Punjab F.C.
2019–20 I-League 11 DNP DNP DNP DNP
Key
  • Tms. = Number of teams
  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average league attendance

Seasons by season

As of 2 November 2017
Year I-League Federation
Cup
AFC Champions League Top Scorer(s)
Div P W D L GF GA Pts Pos. Player(s) Goals
As Minerva Punjab F.C.
2015–16 IL2 18 11 4 3 30 14 37 2nd DNP DNP Kareem Omolaja 4
2016–17 IL 18 2 7 9 17 33 13 9th Loveday Enyinnaya; Kareem Omolaja 3
2017–18 IL 18 11 2 5 24 16 35 1st Chencho Gyeltshen 7
2018–19 IL 20 4 6 10 10 19 18 9th Lancine Touré
Philip Njoku
William Opoku
2
As Punjab F.C.
2019–20 IL TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
DNP − Did not play

Head coach's record

updated as of now

NameNationalityFromToPWDLGFGAWin%
Surinder Singh  India 2015 2017 36 13 11 12 47 47 036.11
Khogen Singh  India 2017 2018 19 11 2 6 24 16 057.89
Paul Munster  Northern Ireland 2018 2019 16 3 5 8 8 15 018.75
Sachin Badadhe  India 2019 2019 2 1 0 1 1 4 050.00
Yan Law  India 2019 - 2 1 0 1 3 4 050.00

Team management

As of 22 June 2019.
Position Name
Head Coach Emerson Alcântara
Assistant Coach Yan Law
Physiotherapist Karuna Kant Gupta

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2015—2017 T10 Sports None
2017—2019 Astro Apollo Tyres
2019—present Spartan

Honours & Titles

Domestic

Champions (1): 2017–18
Runner-up (1): 2015–16
Champions (2): 2018, 2019

Continental record

Season Competition Round Club Score
2019 AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 2 Saipa F.C. 0–4

References

  1. "CLUB STATEMENT: Merger between two entities". Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  2. "CLUB STATEMENT: Merger between two entities". Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  3. "I-League 2018–19: Minerva Punjab head coach Sachin Badadhe – 'We are going to win again'". goal.com. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. "Minerva Punjab renamed as Punjab Football Club". Sportstar. The Hindu. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. "I-League Club Minerva Punjab FC Renamed as Punjab Football Club". News18. PTI. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. "Squad". Soccerway. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
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