Minerva Punjab’s challenge is to make state proud: Owner

New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj has said they will face the inner challenge of making their state proud in their debut campaign in the I-League, the top-flight football competition in the country.

Minerva will be the first I-League club from Punjab after JCT FC decided to withdraw from the I-League following the 2010-11 I-League season.

“Football lovers of Punjab now have a team to get behind and they are excited! Our social media accounts have been flooded with posts and messages from fans sending us their good wishes, valuable advice and high hopes,” he told ileague.org on Monday.

“Expectations are high and fans have been telling us — “Don’t fizzle out. Be professional like European clubs. Make Punjab proud,” Bajaj added.

“We have quite a few Punjabi players in the team and it is special for them to finally be able to play for a club from their home state. More than the pressure to perform it’s all about your inner self asking you to make their state proud.”

Asked what are the measures they will take to fill up their stadium during the league matches, Bajaj said: “In the 1970s and 1980s, great clubs like Leader’s Club and Punjab Police enjoyed the great home support and those are the days we aim to revive.

“We will be doing rigorous promotions through radio, online and on-ground campaigns to let the people know about the matches and get them to the stadium.

“We also have a few surprise acts lined up for the season to draw more crowds into the stadium. It won’t be just a football match, rather it will be a festive atmosphere.”