Newly-promoted Satdobato Youth Club will take on Friends Club in the opening match of the Qatar Airways Martyrs Memorial 'A' Division League here at the Dasharath Stadium on Friday.

A total of 14 'A' division clubs will take part in the league which will be played under round robin single leg format. Only five clubs - defending champions Machhindra Football Club, Three Star Club, Manang Marshyangdi Club, Tribhuvan Army Football Club and Nepal Police Club - showed their intent to win the title at the pre-league press conference, while a couple of sides wanted to stay in the top flight and some teams had a target of finishing better than the previous edition.

Friends Club coach Mrigendra Mishra said the team was well prepared for the league but the target of the club was to stay in the top flight. "We trained for around 40 days and our primary target is to survive in the 'A' division," said Mishra. Asked about the opponents, Mishra said Satdobato would come into the league with high spirit and we will try our best to get the desired results. Skipper Suraj BK said his side was average and that he would try to cope with the pressure of leading a different team.

Satdobato Youth Club coach Meghraj KC warned the opponents not to take his side lightly. "I think there are no small or big teams in 'A' division. All are equally good. Definitely we are a new side in the league but we are capable of making opponents change their attitude towards us after a couple of matches," said KC. "We are here to prove ourselves and this is a good platform for the players to showcase their talent."

Satdobato skipper Man Bahadur Tamang lauded the roles of coach and management in preparing a balanced side. "As an experienced player, I have to put in extra efforts to help the team," said Tamang, who led Himalayan Sherpa Club in the previous edition. "I have joined Satdobato accepting a new challenge."

Top three clubs will receive Rs 7.5 million, Rs 5 million and Rs 2.5m respectively.

The most valuable player will be awarded with Rs 300,000, while the best goalkeeper and highest scorer will get golden gloves and golden ball award respectively along with Rs 200,000 each. The rising player will earn Rs 150,000.

After 91 matches, two bottom teams will be relegated to second division.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.