All the preparations for the Martyr's Memorial 'A' Division League 2079 have been completed. The league begins from Friday with promoted FC Khumaltar playing Friends Club at Dasharath Stadium at 5:30 pm.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City mayor Balendra Shah will inaugurate the league. The grand opening ceremony will begin from 4:30 pm with performance from various celebrities and participation of various politicians and distinguished guests from various fields.
The league will be played in double round robin format and matches will also be played at Chyasal Stadium and ANFA Complex ground in Satdobato.
The Marketing, Broadcasting and Digital and Ticketing rights of the league has already been signed with MDAC Sports Pvt Ltd. The matches will be broadcasted live on Space 4K Television.
Coaches and captains speaking at a pre-match press conference organized at ANFA Complex in Satdobato were excited about the league and optimistic to put up a great show.
Khumaltar's CEO Bidur Shrestha said the newcomers would challenge for the title. "We have signed some really good players including foreigners and with our training which has been going good, we are going to challenge for the title," said Bidur. Khumaltar's Captain Rejin Subba was also optimistic about the team putting up a good show. "Our combination of young and experienced players will yield results," said Rejin.
Friends Club's head coach Urjan Shrestha said the team would target for the top half of the table this season. "We are training good and played some friendlies. We will further eliminate all the mistakes we made in the friendlies and go for the opening match," Urjan said. Team Captain Prakash Budathoki said the result of the first match would decide their target for the league but was hopeful of finishing strong. "This is a marathon and we don't want to rush at the start. We have senior players playing in the top level for long and that will add to our advantage," said Budathoki.
Church Boys United Club's head coach Pradip Humagain said they have assembled a good team and it would better as the league advances. "We have a good team and it will better with the matches," said Humagain. Captain Ananta Tamang also echoed coach Humagain's remark. "Overall it is a mixture of young blood and experienced players. Our two months preparations also shows we are improving with every passing day," said Ananta.
Head coach of APF Football Club Ratna Kaji Maharjan laid out an ambitious plan to win the league for his team. "We have four foreign players and training good. We started slow last season but have plans to start early this time around. We will go for the title," said Maharjan. APF's captain Top Bista also said the team was aiming to flourish at the top of the table. "We want to finish at least in the top three. We have the players to win the title," said Bista.
Sankata Club's head coach Salyan Khadgi said the team taking part in the knockout tournaments was to assess their weakness so they could work on them. "We had some good knockout tournaments and have been training for over a month," said Khadgi. Sankata's captain Sunil Bal said he wanted a fresh challenge and moved to Sankata. "I wanted to take responsibility and when the opportunity came, I grabbed it. I think we can win the title," said Bal, who won the title with Machhindra Football Club last season.
Nepal Police Club's head coach Chetan Ghimire was optimistic about the team challenging in the league but lamented on the number of players he had. "It is going to be difficult for us. We had to select players through internal competitions and they are young ones. Still we will give our best," said Ghimire. Captain Ram Chandra Wajee was more positive towards the team's chances this season. "It is really unfortunate for a club like Nepal Police Club which once dominated the national football scene struggle at recent years. But new players and new coach should change that," he said.
Satdobato Youth Club's head coach Sanoj Shrestha expected the team to better their fourth finish from last year. "We had some really good tournaments where our performance was also good. I expect the team to better the fourth position finish from last year's league," Sanoj said. Captain Sudip Gurung also believed the team could better their last season finish. "A good with young players must bring good results. But this is football and we have to be content with whatever the result is going to be," said Gurung.
Tribhuvan Army Football Club's assistant coach Raju Tamang said the team would put their past behind them and hopefully win the title this time round. "Our team is in a good rhythm having played in some knockout tournaments. We have a balanced team and hopefully a title-winning one," said Raju. Captain Bharat Khawas also said return of key players would boost team's performance. "We have a strong squad to choose from. Our key players are injury free and we are mentally and physically strong," said Khawas.
New Road Team's coach Jeevan Sinkemana said the team had been preparing for over two months with a really young squad. "Over seventy percent of our squad is below 22 years of age. We have only three or four players who are over 25. We are extremely hopeful of finishing strong with this young squad."
Jawalakhel Youth Club's head coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha said the club had invested well in players for the season. "We have new players and it took some time for them to bond in the game. But now we are set and ready to go," he said. Captain Simanta Thapa said the team had been training well for well over a month. "Our training has been good. Hope the same will be with the results too," he said.
Manang Marsyangdi Club head coach Kiran Shrestha said the club had changed their strategy and invested in young players for this season. "If you look at our past squads it would comprise of national team players and some good foreigners. Our squad for this season is different from those squads. We conducted closed camp in Pokhara, played knockout tournaments and now have the potential to finish in the top four," head coach Kiran said. Captain Deep Karki said the preparations have been good for them. "With a coach with international experience and a good training and preparations, we aim for a good finish towards the top of the table," said Karki.
Three Star Club's Assistant Coach Binod Majhi said they wanted to return to their glory days in this season. "Our team is ready and the return of Megh Raj KC as head coach has fined tuned our preparations," said Majhi.