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Indian Arrows (formerly known as Pailan Arrows) was an Indian developmental
football club A football team is a group of players selected to play together in the various team sports known as football. Such teams could be selected to play in a match against an opposing team, to represent a football club, group, state or nation, an all-s ...
that competed in the
I-League The I-League (known as Hero I-League for sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp) is the second-tier men's professional football competition of the Indian football league system. It is currently contested by 12 clubs across the country with the w ...
. The club was formed by the
All India Football Federation The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the national governing body of football in India. It is a member of FIFA, the international governing body of football and affiliated to Asian Football Confederation. It is affiliated to Ministry of Y ...
in 2010, with a main goal of nurturing young Indian football talents. After disbanding in 2013, the project was revived as ''Indian Arrows'' in 2017. In September 2022, the technical committee of All India Football Federation decided to discontinue the participation of the Indian Arrows in the I-League because of the difficulty in fulfilling the AFC Licensing criteria. Instead, the funding was decided to invest in creating a new Elite Youth League in the country .


History


AIFF XI (2010–2011)


2010–11 season

The club was founded as the AIFF XI in 2010 under the recommendation of then India head coach
Bob Houghton Robert Douglas Houghton (born 30 October 1947) is an English football manager and former player. His career has spanned over 30 years and 10 countries. He is most famous for taking Swedish club Malmö FF to the 1979 European Cup Final, where t ...
and All India Football Federation president
Praful Patel Praful Manoharbhai Patel (born 17 February 1957) is an Indian Nationalist Congress Party politician, industrialist and sports administrator. He was the president of India's association football governing body the All India Football Federatio ...
after Bob noticed that almost all the India U19 and India U23 players were on the bench during the
I-League The I-League (known as Hero I-League for sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp) is the second-tier men's professional football competition of the Indian football league system. It is currently contested by 12 clubs across the country with the w ...
season and were never getting any game time. The club was originally slated to join the
I-League 2nd Division I-League 2, previously known as I-League 2nd Division and officially known as or Hero I-League 2 (for sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp), is an Indian men's professional football league. It is the 3rd tier of Indian football, behind Indian ...
but after the disbanding of Mahindra United the AIFF allowed AIFF XI into the I-League automatically. The club participated in their first competition in 2010 which was the Federation Cup and played their first ever professional match on 21 September against JCT FC, in which AIFF XI won 1–0 with Malsawmfela scoring the first goal in the team's history. The team finished third in the group in the end, missing out on going to the next round by four points. The club then participated in their first
I-League The I-League (known as Hero I-League for sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp) is the second-tier men's professional football competition of the Indian football league system. It is currently contested by 12 clubs across the country with the w ...
match on 3 December 2010 against Chirag United in which the club lost 1–2 and with Lalrindika Ralte scoring the first goal for the club in the league. The club then earned their first points on 8 December 2010 against ONGC F.C. after drawing 1–1. On 11 January 2011 it was announced that AIFF XI would change their name to Indian Arrows which would take effect on 1 February 2011. Arrows finished the 2010–11 I-League season in 9th place.


Pailan Arrows (2011–2013)


2011–12 season

The summer of 2011 would be a busy one for the club. The club changed their name to Pailan Arrows on 15 June 2011 after the All India Football Federation reached an agreement with Pailan Group to sponsor the team. With the deal Pailan Arrows was also relocated to Kolkata and the
Salt Lake Stadium The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK; ), commonly known as the Salt Lake Stadium, is an all-seater multi-purpose stadium located in Bidhannagar, with current capacity of 85,000 spectators. Named after Swami Vivekananda, the stadium ...
. Then on 13 August 2012 head coach Desmond Bulpin was sacked by the club due to his "style of football" while former India national football team coach
Sukhwinder Singh Sukhwinder Singh (born 18 July 1971) is an internationally acclaimed Indian playback singer who primarily sings Bollywood songs. He is famous internationally for singing " Jai Ho" from the film ''Slumdog Millionaire'' which won an Academy Awar ...
was signed to take over the club. The club also lost many of the stars of the previous season like Lalrindika Ralte, Jeje Lalpekhlua (top scorer for Pailan and among Indians in 2010–11), Manandeep Singh and
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (born 3 February 1992) is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Indian Super League club Bengaluru and the India national team. Sandhu was named captain of the India national team for the first ...
. The club again participated in the Federation Cup in
2011 File:2011 Events Collage.png, From top left, clockwise: a protester partaking in Occupy Wall Street heralds the beginning of the Occupy movement; protests against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed that October; a young man celebrat ...
where Pailan won two matches but lost one which meant that they would finish 2nd behind Salgaocar and thus meant Pailan were knocked out in the group stage again. Pailan Arrows then began the 2011–12 I-League campaign against
Mohun Bagan Mohun Bagan Athletic Club is an Indian professional sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. Founded in 1889, its football section is one of the oldest in India and Asia. The club is most notable for its victory over East Yorkshire Regime ...
at the
Salt Lake Stadium The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK; ), commonly known as the Salt Lake Stadium, is an all-seater multi-purpose stadium located in Bidhannagar, with current capacity of 85,000 spectators. Named after Swami Vivekananda, the stadium ...
on 23 October 2012 in which they lost 1–3 after Lalrozama Fanai gave them the early lead. On 7 February 2012 Sukhwinder Singh resigned as coach of Pailan Arrows due to personal reasons, at this point also Pailan had not won a single match in I-League and had only managed eight draws in 17 matches. Assistant coach Sujit Chakravarty took over the reins as head coach for the remainder of the season. Towards the end of the season Pailan managed to win two matches, one against
Chirag United Club Kerala Viva Kerala Football Club (also known as Chirag United Club Kerala) was an Indian professional association football club based in the city of Kochi, Kerala, India. The club was originally formed in 2004, as ''Viva Kerala''. They participated in ...
and another against HAL to finished the season in 13th place out of 14 teams but since they are a developmental team, Pailan were not relegated.


2012–13 season

After the disastrous season Pailan endured, the club and All India Football Federation signed Australian Arthur Papas as the new permanent head coach of the India U23 and Pailan Arrows on 24 May 2012. Papas came to the club after coaching his former club, Oakleigh Cannons FC, to the 2011 Victorian Premier League runners-up title.


Disbanding

On 29 August 2013 it was announced that Pailan Arrows had been disbanded by the
All India Football Federation The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is the national governing body of football in India. It is a member of FIFA, the international governing body of football and affiliated to Asian Football Confederation. It is affiliated to Ministry of Y ...
as the club sponsors, Pailan Group, could not financially support the team.


Revival as Indian Arrows (2017–2022)

After successful hosting of 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, AIFF revived the project as ''Indian Arrows'' with the aim of giving regular game time to U–17 world cup players as a team, and fielded the team in 2017–18 I-League. They were immune from relegation. Despite being praised for their competitive showings in 2017–18 I-League season, they finished bottom of the league with 15 points from 18 games. In the 2018–19 I League, with six wins and three drews, the Arrows finished eighth in the table among 11 teams. They qualified for the 2019 Super Cup by defeating Kerala Blasters 2–0. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2019–20 season was cancelled after 16 matches and the Arrows were placed at the bottom. In the 2021–21 I League season, they were placed tenth in the league.


Disbanding

In September 2022, the AIFF executive committee accepted the recommendation of its new technical committee, to discontinue Indian Arrows because of the difficulty in fulfilling the AFC Licensing criteria. They also announced that the finances used for the Indian Arrows will be invested in creating a new Elite Youth League in the country.


Crest and colours

The club's colours were blue and white, just like the India national football team. During the first season Pailan Arrows started with a dark blue kit but eventually during the 2010–11 season the club started using a normal blue kit with black shorts. For the 2011–12 season Pailan used a dark blue jersey and a white kit with black or red socks.


Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

In october 2018, Government of Odisha signed Rs.50 million sponsorship deal with
AIFF Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) is an audio file format standard used for storing sound data for personal computers and other electronic audio devices. The format was developed by Apple Inc. in 1988 based on Electronic Arts' Interchange Fi ...
for the Arrows. The sponsorship deal will also cover India's under-15 football team. As part of the deal, the state government will host the Arrows and under-15 national team at the
Kalinga Stadium The Kalinga Stadium is a multi-purpose International stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Its foundation stone was laid by former chief minister of Odisha Late Biju Patnaik in 1978. It is the home ground of the I League Club Indian Arrows ...
in
Bhubaneswar Bhubaneswar (; ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Odisha. The region, especially the old town, was historically often depicted as ''Ekamra Kshetra'' (area (''kshetra'') adorned with mango trees (''ekamra'')). Bhubaneswar is ...
. The deal also covers the two teams’ stay in
Bhubaneswar Bhubaneswar (; ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Odisha. The region, especially the old town, was historically often depicted as ''Ekamra Kshetra'' (area (''kshetra'') adorned with mango trees (''ekamra'')). Bhubaneswar is ...
, providing them with the ground facility as well as boarding/lodging during the
I-league The I-League (known as Hero I-League for sponsorship ties with Hero MotoCorp) is the second-tier men's professional football competition of the Indian football league system. It is currently contested by 12 clubs across the country with the w ...
and off-season.


Stadium

For the 2010–11 I-League season the club played at the
Tau Devi Lal Stadium Tau Devi Lal Stadium is a multi-purpose sports complex located in Gurgaon within the state of Haryana, India. The Tau Devi Lal Football Stadium has a capacity of 12,000 and the Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium has a capacity of 7,000. The site cur ...
in
Gurgaon Gurgaon (pronunciation: ʊɽɡãːw, officially named Gurugram (pronunciation: ʊɾʊɡɾaːm, is a city located in the northern Indian state of Haryana. It is situated near the Delhi–Haryana border, about southwest of the nationa ...
,
Haryana Haryana (; ) is an Indian state located in the northern part of the country. It was carved out of the former state of East Punjab on 1 Nov 1966 on a linguistic basis. It is ranked 21st in terms of area, with less than 1.4% () of India's land ...
when they were originally due to play at the
Ambedkar Stadium Dr. Ambedkar Stadium is a football stadium in New Delhi, India. The stadium is named in honour of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, famous social reformer and architect of the Indian Constitution. It was earlier known as the Corporation Stadium. It also he ...
in Delhi but due to the pitch condition the club was moved to Gurgaon. After relocating to Kolkata the club started to play at the
Salt Lake Stadium The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK; ), commonly known as the Salt Lake Stadium, is an all-seater multi-purpose stadium located in Bidhannagar, with current capacity of 85,000 spectators. Named after Swami Vivekananda, the stadium ...
which is also home to
East Bengal ur, , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province of the Dominion of Pakistan , p1 = Bengal Presidency , flag_p1 = Flag of British Bengal.svg , s1 = East ...
,
Mohun Bagan Mohun Bagan Athletic Club is an Indian professional sports club based in Kolkata, West Bengal. Founded in 1889, its football section is one of the oldest in India and Asia. The club is most notable for its victory over East Yorkshire Regime ...
and Prayag United. In 2017–18, the team played in
Goa Goa () is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the Konkan region, geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It is located between the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka t ...
and Delhi. In 2018–19, they used the Barabati Stadium and
Kalinga Stadium The Kalinga Stadium is a multi-purpose International stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. Its foundation stone was laid by former chief minister of Odisha Late Biju Patnaik in 1978. It is the home ground of the I League Club Indian Arrows ...
. Kalinga Stadium in
Bhubaneswar Bhubaneswar (; ) is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Odisha. The region, especially the old town, was historically often depicted as ''Ekamra Kshetra'' (area (''kshetra'') adorned with mango trees (''ekamra'')). Bhubaneswar is ...
,
Odisha Odisha (English: , ), formerly Orissa ( the official name until 2011), is an Indian state located in Eastern India. It is the 8th largest state by area, and the 11th largest by population. The state has the third largest population of Sch ...
were the last home base of the Indian Arrows before getting disbanded in September 2022.


Notable former players

''For all former or notable Indian Arrows players with a Wikipedia article, see: Indian Arrows players''.


Final staff


Team records


Overview


Overall records


Head coaching history

This is a full list of Indian Arrows's coaches and their records, from 2010 until they were disbanded in 2022. ''Only competitive matches are counted. Wins, losses and draws are results at the final whistle; the results of penalty shoot-outs are not counted.''


See also

* Elite League * Junior National Football Championship * Football in India * Indian football league system


References


External links


Pailan Arrows
at Goal.com
Indian Arrows
at GSA {{Football in Odisha, state=expanded Pailan Arrows Football clubs in India Association football clubs established in 2010 I-League clubs 2010 establishments in India 2022 disestablishments in India India national football team Indian Arrows FC Association football clubs disestablished in 2022 Defunct football clubs in India