The Durand Cup has been a breeding ground for new talent and many of India’s finest footballers have made a name for themselves with exploits in this competition. 

In recent years, teams have used the Durand Cup to test their best budding talents ahead of the league season and the youngsters have taken their chances with both hands. 

Super Cup champions Odisha FC are the standout name in Group F. Since that win in April, the Kalinga Warriors have undergone a revamp with Sergio Lobera taking over as the team’s head coach. The Bhubaneswar-based outfit have brought in big name signings like Roy Krishna, Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, and Lenny Rodrigues. 

However, the club have announced that they will be sending their reserves team for the Durand Cup and giving Lobera a chance to look at some of the younger players who he would want to include in the senior squad for the Indian Super League season. 

They will face home side Bodoland FC in the group. Formed in 2022, it is the youngest club in the Durand Cup but will have home advantage at the SAI stadium in Kokrajhar where Group F matches will be played out. Sanju Pradhan, a former ISL player is part of the squad alongside former East Bengal striker Ansumana Kromah. 

Indian Army FT (Army Red) will be the third team in the Group. Regulars in the Durand Cup, the Services outfit won the competition in 2005 and will look to bring their experience into play. 

Rajasthan United FC complete the group. The I-League side reached the quarter-finals last season edging out Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan Super Giant and East Bengal FC from the group before losing to Hyderabad FC in the last eight stage. Shouvik Ghosh who played for a number of ISL clubs is part of the squad along with Lalchhungnunga Chhangte who is on loan from Hyderabad FC.

Group F 

Sr No



Bodoland FC


Indian Army FT


Odisha FC


Rajasthan United

Group F fixtures 





August 5, 2023

2:30 PM IST

Bodoland vs Rajasthan United FC


August 7, 2023

3:00 PM IST

Odisha FC vs Indian Army FT


August 11, 2023

6:00 PM IST

Odisha FC vs Rajasthan United FC


August 17, 2023

6:00 PM IST

Bodoland vs Indian Army FT


August 19, 2023

4:45 PM IST

Bodoland vs Odisha FC


August 21, 2023

6:00 PM IST

Rajasthan United FC vs Indian Army FT


Talking Point

Amid the big splurge, Odisha FC’s youngsters look to make a point

Odisha FC’s advances in the transfer market have made all the headlines this summer and the focus is on those new recruits and how they could make Odisha FC one of the favourites for the ISL title. 

But Odisha FC have always sported a batch of talented youngsters and have always been a team that has offered them a chance to showcase their skills on the biggest stage. 

So, Odisha FC’s young guns could give Lobera a selection headache with impressive performances in the Durand Cup. Hendry Antonay, who was part of the India’s U-17 team that played the FIFA U-17 World Cup will be one of the ley defenders alongside Rakesh Oram who is among the more experienced players in the side having appeared in the ISL for Mumbai City FC. 

New Aphaoba Singh who has been a bit lost among the more illustrious arrivals will look to show Lobera that he is ready for the big stage. 

Durand Cup in the last few years has thrown up some good young players and all eyes will be on this Odisha FC side as Indian football fans look forward to seeing superstars of tomorrow emerge in the competition.