Police soccer on the rise with entry of new coach | Sunday Observer
Win FA Cup after 12 years beating Saunders 5-4 in final:

Police soccer on the rise with entry of new coach

The triumphant Police team comprising Chamika Kumara, Sujith Sanjeewa, Dumith Shashika, Nuwantha Charaka, Sampath Pathirana, Nilantha Pathirana, Hettiarachchie, S. Kumara, A. Nicholas, S. Jayasinghe, K. Kandepola, MM Hettimudalige, RM Chathuranga, Ashan Siriwardena, Danusha Perera, Mahendran Dinesh, Chathura Gunaratne, MJR Mohamed, SM Sufaik, S Dayabaran, S. Sakeef  KBA Abrew, WLSD Fernando, KBMB Sandaruwan, MMM Imran, AKNK Kumara, MIM Ijaz, DLK Lankeshwara, APMP Rajakaruna
The triumphant Police team comprising Chamika Kumara, Sujith Sanjeewa, Dumith Shashika, Nuwantha Charaka, Sampath Pathirana, Nilantha Pathirana, Hettiarachchie, S. Kumara, A. Nicholas, S. Jayasinghe, K. Kandepola, MM Hettimudalige, RM Chathuranga, Ashan Siriwardena, Danusha Perera, Mahendran Dinesh, Chathura Gunaratne, MJR Mohamed, SM Sufaik, S Dayabaran, S. Sakeef KBA Abrew, WLSD Fernando, KBMB Sandaruwan, MMM Imran, AKNK Kumara, MIM Ijaz, DLK Lankeshwara, APMP Rajakaruna

Police Sports Club became the champions of the Vantage FA Cup, the oldest knock-out competition in Sri Lanka football and will owe much of their success to the entry of a new coach in Mahinda Galagedera.

Police edged out Saunders SC in the penalty shootout 5-4 after the game ended in a one-all tie at full time, played at Race Course.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer Galagedara said the players were found wanting in motivation which was the only thing they needed to turn things around as they beat Saunders 5-4 in the final on a penalty shootout.

“I am happy and proud to say that for the past two years Police lost only one match and won three major titles.

“When I took over as their coach in 2018 year, Police had finished at the bottom of the points table in the inter-club league. Within two years, we won three championships becoming the unbeaten team in four major tournaments.

“The team was mentally down and that was the biggest challenge for me to strengthen their mentality to face the challenges offered by opponents,” said Galagedara.

He revealed that the team needed to be put through a two-month motivational programme.

Police won the FA Cup title after 12 years by defeating Saunders SC for the first time. They entered the FA Cup final on six occasions in 1951, 1984, 1989, 1994, 2008 and 2019 and won the 2008 and 2019 editions respectively.

Galagedara has served as goalkeeping coach for several years and he coached the U-13, U-14, U-16 and Sri Lanka team. He then moved on to coach Renown SC for a few months and during that time Renown advanced to the semi-finals in the President’s Cup which was organized by City League in 2016.

Galagedera was also the head coach of the national women’s team. This team had never won a single match in the international scene for the past two years. But today they have entered the semi-finals in the South Asian Football Championship.

That team had beaten Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. After the successful stint Galagedera was appointed as the goal-keeping coach of the men’s National team.

“I never had any spare time to spend with my family in the last couple of months due to heavy coaching work.

“I wish to thank the acting DIG Chandana D. Wickremaratne, Police Sports Division DIG S. Munasinghe, SSP Asoka Newgalage and SP Pushpa Kumara and Deshabandu Tennakoon for their excellent support extended to me,” said Galagedera.

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