‘A longer football calendar will help the football ecosystem’

HFC co-owner Varun Tripuraneni speaks to the LFL show about all things HFC…

Hyderabad FC, the Champions of India, are rightly receiving accolades for their impressive approach to top-flight football in India. The efforts of everyone at the club have already borne fruit as Hyderabad lifted the coveted Indian Super League trophy in under three seasons into their existence.

But not everything fell into place and there were plenty of hardships that not many know about. At the center of it all is one of our own, Varun Tripuraneni, the co-owner of Hyderabad FC.

Bringing all his experience in Indian football to Hyderabad, Varun has already helped script history and we never grow bored of listening to him reveal how it all happened.

The ‘Let’s Football Live’ show’s Twitter space hosted our co-owner as the ISL Matchday Crew tried to gather as much information as they could. Here is a few of the interesting reveals from Varun as he talks about

Doing it the HFC way…

We at Hyderabad approach everything in a very systematic manner not just in the signings of the first team players but also the support staff. Our core focus has always been more on the Indian players.

We had to move on from the first season and Manolo Marquez was the most important part for the club in the last two years. We learned from the mistakes we made in the first season and then built on those learnings.

The blueprint for Hyderabad football…

Now, the expectations are high since we have won the title. There’s been a lot of movement in the off-season when it comes to the first team. But the important thing here is to work on things off the pitch as well.

For the past two seasons we haven’t played in front of the fans. We are trying to focus on the grassroots space and building a footballing ecosystem in the state. We haven’t even had youth leagues in the past two seasons. So, we will be working on building the youth teams and developing young talent along with focusing on the first team too.

We are working extremely hard on improving the grassroots level for the past few months.

Showing off the tag of ‘Champions’…

Winning the title made a huge difference. We did a trophy tour in many schools and academies. The trophy was moving from school to school and people have been asking about the club, asking about the new season. There is a buzz about the club in the city and we need to make the most it.

The perks of football returning to Hyderabad…

In the 2019-20 season, we didn’t have time to do marketing or promotions to get fans to the stadium. We had just around a month before for the season to start. But this season, it is going to be a great opportunity to play in front of the fans. The win helped us a lot in promoting the club and to increase the fan bases we have been building organically.

In terms of grassroots, we have been reaching out to many schools and there is a lot of interest from the school kids. We will be doing baby leagues and school leagues. We are also looking to create some interest in the corporate world around the stadium. We can do a lot of on-ground activities now and we have been doing extensive outreach programs to schools, colleges and corporates.

We are planning on releasing the second season of Future Is Us with the right marketing so that it can reach out to a wider audience and not just the football fans.

The Manolo-effect at HFC…

I have a very good relationship with Manolo. He is an amazing personality and interacts well with everyone at the club. we can’t thank him enough. We extended his contract in the middle of the 2020-21 season and we would like to enjoy more success with him. I hope to work with him for many years. It is an honour to have someone like him with the club.

The longer Indian football calendar…

We’ve got a pretty good calendar for Indian football as we head forward. Now, it is much more important to plan things right from pre-season because the Durand Cup is in the middle of the pre-season. From the players’ point of view, it just gives them more and more opportunities to perform and prove themselves. And collectively, everyone in the Indian football ecosystem, all the team owners, all clubs feel that it is important to have a longer season and a greater number of matches.

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