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After finishing as runners-up behind the champions Dempo during the 2015–16 season, the Punjab based I- league Minerva Punjab FC was awarded a direct-entry spot in the I-League for the 2016–17 season on 11 December 2016.
Minervan Footballers & Cricketers going thru an assessment at The Abhinav Bindra High Performance Training Center. pic.twitter.com/3c2qaUf1Nb
— MINERVA PUNJAB FC (@Minerva_AFC) December 22, 2016
And the Minerva Punjab FC’s owner, Mr. Ranjit Bajaj has recently admitted that they respect’s all the big names in the Indian football but they fear them and also admitted that his childhood buddy Yuvraj Singh along with his wife Hazel might be seen in the stands to cheer for Minerva during Hero I-League matches because It’s time for some ‘Bhangra’ in I-League matches.
As he stated,
*Are you planning some promotional activities with your celebrity friends? Will they be cheering for your team?
Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) has promised to come for as many home matches as possible. His availability is often an issue because of his busy schedule but he is 100% behind the boys.
Rannvijay (Singh) was so excited to hear about Minerva’s entry in the I-League and will be spending as much time as possible with the boys and cheering when we play at home.
Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) is newlywed so it’ll be difficult to get a hold of him now. But I will be inviting both Hazel and him (Yuvraj) for the home matches and away matches.
In addition, some famous Punjabi singers will also be seen in the stands during the season.
*What’ll be your approach while facing the big guns of Indian football?
We faced big names in our 2nd division debut last year as well. Teams like Dempo and Mohammedan have both been big names in Indian football. We managed to beat each one of them at least once and the manner we played added to our confidence.
*But isn’t the I-League a different ball game?
We understand that the I-League is a different ball game but we believe we will adjust quickly. What if we can't change the direction of the wind but we can adjust our sail. We have full faith in our unit and we give them confidence. We play on merit on not on reputation. We would respect the big names but won't fear them. We are working on putting together a strong, well-knit unit and believe we are well on our way.