Bengaluru FC, on Friday, announced their plans to start under-11, under-13 and under-15 girls teams this season, marking their entry into women’s football. The selection trials for the same are scheduled to be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Ashok Nagar, on September 25.

“We have had the discussions at the club about getting into women’s football for a while now, and we would have made this move a year earlier if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, there are a lot of competitions for the girls to take part in, and the Karnataka State Football Association has also taken steps in this respect by having the Super Division and the A Division running. There are a lot of communities too that are conducting competitions that our girls can participate in, and that will help in the all-round development of the players,” said club CEO Mandar Tamhane.

The club will start with age-group women’s teams this year, with the senior team expected to take shape in due course.

“It was a conscious decision to start with the under-11, under-13 and under-15 teams, because we want to make sure that we build this on the right foundations. The upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup will create a lot more awareness about the women’s game, and the All India Football Federation is also doing a lot to promote the sport in this regard. This is just the start, and we will slowly climb up the ladder and have a women’s team playing in the top division soon,” Mandar added.

Speaking about the club’s latest decision, Sunil Chhetri, the skipper of the men’s senior team, said, “Everyone at the club is very happy at the news of Bengaluru FC starting its women’s team, and as the captain, I am very excited about this development. It’s something we’ve spoken about in the past, but wanted to do at the right time and in the right manner. This is the start of something special”