Pune Football Club beat local favourites Dempo Sports in the final to lift the Bandodkar Gold Trophy. Pune became the sixth away team to lift the coveted trophy, played for the first time in more than two decades. The last few days of the football calendar season saw teams battle it out for the prestigious trophy gifted to the Goa Football Association by the state’s first Chief Minister Dayanand Bandodkar in 1970.
In an effort to revive the legacy and glory of the traditional tournament, Goa Football Association (GFA) stepped in to organise the Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament 2016, supported by the Bandodkar family and marketed by Zest Concepts, a sports marketing firm based in Goa.
The Bandodkar Gold Trophy 2016 was rebranded and repackaged in a new avatar, as an Under-21 tournament this year, with the aim of becoming India’s premier U-21 football tournament in due course.
The tournament kicked off in the third week of May and saw six teams from Goa—which included the big four of Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Dempo SC, and Churchill Brothers SC as well as two from Pune—DSK Shivajians and Pune Football Club.
The matches were played at Duler Stadium, Mapusa in North Goa and Navelim Football Ground in South Goa.
Buoyed by the success of the tournament, said Elvis Gomes, president, Goa Football Association, ”The Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament is a crucial part of the history and legacy of Goan football. GFA has revived this traditional tournament of significance with the support and encouragement of the Bandodkar family.
“The Bandodkar Gold Trophy Football Tournament will be an annual fixture on the state’s football calendar and we are looking to better it with each passing year.
“We have ambitious plans and will look to roll them out next year. We have been approached by international teams and we will begin work on the same right away. So many tournaments we have grown up on have ceased to exist, such as Rovers Cup, Stafford Cup, etc.”