Aditya posted on 13th January

Pay & Play: Finding a Football Pitch

Growing up as a football fan and player in Delhi can be hard. As a young fan, if you didn’t support Manchester United {and I didn’t}, you were ostracised from conversation. As a young player, you had to get used to the fact that sometimes there was just nowhere to play.

You’d try and sneak a game in a private park while the guards were away, or, worse yet, in a public park where there were about 4.5 children per square metre, or you’d have to sign up for a Sunday league. These days it is infinitely easier to get a game, as long as you have enough friends, and some cash. With that in mind, check out these eight locations where you can book, pay and play!

Eden Sports Academy

With training programmes for cricket, tennis and football, the Eden Sports Academy covers its bases. Trained by a team of experienced coaches Eden position themselves as a good after-school activity. However, they also offer ‘pay as you play’ booking options for all three sports.

With a large pitch, Eden offers enough space for an 11-a-side game. Get a large group together and split the four hour fee.

Dwarka Sports Complex

For football fanatics in Dwarka who don’t have the time to get to south Delhi, there is always the Dwarka Sports Complex that, besides hosting a variety of other sports, also rents out their football pitch at a reasonable hourly rate.

Siri Fort Sports Complex

We remember the days when we’d have to go to Siri Fort Sports Complex for Taekwondo lessons, or run laps around the massive cricket pitch, or sneak onto the hockey field to get in a quick game of football. No sneaking anymore, as we now have the finances to just book the field!

Aravali Sports Academy

If you’ve got some cash to spare, then Aravali Sports Academy has a full-sized pitch {and natural turf} to rent. While their rates are steep, it can be easier for Gurgaon footballers to get a community game together, and split the cost, rather than trek to some parts of Delhi. You can only book on the weekends.

Vasant Kunj Sports Complex

The conveniently located Vasant Kunj sports complex is an outdoor space where children come to play cricket in the batting nets, the Delhi rugby teams hold games and sessions, and amateur footballers host tournaments. While booking the field can be a pain {you have to take a registration form to their office in the same area}, the field is well maintained. Good for an 8-on-8 game {though you can have more, or less}.

Saket Sports Complex

Like Vasant Kunj and Siri Fort, the Saket Sports Complex is affiliated with the DDA, and offers a large selection of different sports. With a large field, Saket is good for six to nine a side games. The field is open from 11am – 3pm, and bookings can be made per hour.

Tricky Taka

A facility dedicated solely to football, Tricky Taka is one of the first centres to offer state-of-the-art astro turf and artificial grass pitches. With 5-a-side fields and iron cages for cage football {which is always exhilarating} they are a solid bet if you can only rustle up a small group to play. They also host mini football tournaments, where they charge entry fees per team, as well as a payout for winners and runner-ups. Their rates are by the hour.

Passerine Sports Academy

A well-equipped academy in Gurgaon, Passerine Sports Academy offers something for everyone. Indoor activities include yoga and Zumba, and sports include cricket, football, tennis and rugby. They offer an entire field for 11-a-side games, or a 7-a-side pitch for smaller groups.