• Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Revolutionizing Fan Culture: Highlander Brigade Prepares for Action-Packed Offseason Football Festivities

Highlander Brigade, the supporter club of Indian Super League club Northeast United FC, is gearing up for their offseason activity. Speaking about the offseason football activities, the supporter club president Abhishek Lahkar informed that this year planning to organize the 2nd edition of the Ao Sangma Shield football tournament, All Assam Amateur Community Futsal Tournament, 16 teams, 5a side match knock out tournament, in collaboration with Assam football association on 2nd May and 5th edition of HB E-football tournament from 5th to 7th May.

“Those who are interested, can visit our websitehttps://www.highlanderbrigade.com/ or our social media pages to contact us for participation,’” said Abhishek, supporter club president.

Highlander Brigade is a supporters’ club of Northeast United FC, a group of students and professionals who support Northeast United FC in the Indian Super League. The supporter club is the largest collection of such fans who have come together to build something phenomenal. This is a quest to revolutionize the fan culture in this region: From watching on TV to jumping in the stands, from mute spectators to loud avid supporters; Promote the club, promote football, promote the Northeast, promote its culture of football.

Speaking about the previous year’s activities, Abhishek said, “Since our inception in 2017 we always wanted to do more than just support Northeast United FC in Indian football. We are a group of fans of the beautiful game. That is where the idea to host a football tournament was conceived. In May 2023 we hosted our first edition of the football tournament named after two greats of India and Assam Football Dr. Talimeren Ao and Gilbertson Sangma. We started off with a 5a-side tournament and we have plans to grow it to a full-fledged 11-a-side tournament in the coming future. We feel proud that the family of Dr. Talimeren Ao also supported us, and financially helped us to organize this tournament last year”

Further, he said, “Last year’s event was a great success. And this year also towards the end of June we will host the 2nd edition of the tournament in Guwahati. We are planning to make it even bigger than last year with more prize money and the involvement of more football-loving people. We hope to positively impact the football scene of Assam and the entire northeast.”

“The main purpose is to give the footballers of the region a platform to showcase their talent, hone their skills, and most importantly have a good playing time. As in Assam, we have very little exposure for a footballer to play. We just want to fill that void to some extent through this tournament,” Abhisekh Informed.

Vikas Baruah, Founding member and current Advisory Committee member. The Supporters’ Club Highlander Brigade informed that the club operates as an independent and non-profit supporters’ club that supports NEUFC. “Our funding comes from various sources. Firstly, we collect a mandatory registration fee of Rs. 100 from those wishing to join the club. Additionally, we encourage monthly contributions from our members, with a minimum of Rs. 70 for students and Rs. 150 for working individuals. Our members willingly contribute sometimes even more.” Said Vikas.

Further, he said, “Profits generated from these events are reinvested into supporters’ club activities such as creating large tifos, banners, graffiti art buying drums, etc., all aimed at promoting football and fan culture in the northeast region.”

Pratyush Bhattacharyya, student and Field team leader of the Highlander Brigade stated, “This year, during the opening match of Northeast United against Mumbai City FC, we at Highlander Brigade unveiled Asia’s largest-ever handmade tifo. We were also involved in various social work activities, including collecting relief for flood victims and creating wall graffiti to promote football and other sports personalities like Mirabai Chanu in the region. Our main aim is to guide youngsters interested in football towards the right path.”

Arnab Pathak, Field team leader, of the Highlander Brigade, said, “Being one of the organizing committee members, it was a mixture of emotions. There was not much time on our hands but somehow, we managed it so well that the memories are still fresh. Arranging the equipment, registration of teams, and running on the field to get the balls, under the hot summer weather was not so easy but the passion took us through the event.

A little ups and downs were there as it was the first time, but those didn’t stop us and we completed the event as a huge success. This year’s 2nd edition of this AO Sangma Shield will be even bigger and better. We have learned quite a lot from the last time and hopefully will conduct this year’s event in a much better way.”

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