Preseason Update #1

WE ARE BACK! Brotherhood Indoor Soccer League will be starting the 2021-2022 season in November iA.
We are still sorting out the details for the upcoming season but here is what we can share so far. 

1. All players must be fully vaccinated and provide proof before entry into the facility as mandated by the City. Unfortunately, any unvaccinated players will not be allowed to enter the facility. 

2. We will be adding two new teams this season: Masr FC and Maghrib FC

3. The league will be moving to a new facility: Churchill Meadows Community Centre in Mississauga (9th line/Thomas). Games will still be Sunday nights between 9pm to 11pm

4. Registration for the 2021-2022 season will cost $215 and will open on the following dates: 
         - Returning players on Saturday October 16th till Tuesday October 19th. 
        - New players will be able to register Thursday October 21st. Registration will be first come, first serve

5. The regular season will start on November 21st and run till January 30th. Playoffs will be Feb 6th till March 13th
Tentative schedule
Nov 7th - New player assessment
Nov 14th - Matchweek 1
Nov 21st - Matchweek 2
Nov 28th - Matchweek 3
Dec 5th - Matchweek 4
Dec 12th - Matchweek 5
Dec 19th - Matchweek 6
Jan 9th - Matchweek 7
Jan 16th - Matchweek 8
Jan 23rd - Matchweek 9
Jan 30th - Matchweek 10
Feb 6th - Quarterfinal (Leg #1)
Feb 13th - Quarterfinal (Leg#2)
Feb 27th - Semifinal (Leg#1)
Mar 6th - Semifinal (Leg#2)
Mar 13th - Finals

More details to come. 
 


2019/20 BISL Awards

Another BISL season is in the books and Anatolia capture their first title in history to close out Season 6. Congratulations to all the teams on a fantastic season (our most competitive one yet) and we hope everyone enjoyed their experience. We are always looking for ways to improve our league so please send any feedback to [email protected]
 
This season featured many incredible individual performances, which made player award voting even more difficult. For individual awards, each GM was to submit one nominee from their respective team. After collecting all the nominees, each team's GM were eligible to cast a vote - however, they were NOT permitted to vote for players on their own team. Though there were many deserving candidates, we are happy to present this year's individual award winners. All awards have been posted to your profile page. 

Before we go into the individual awards, let's recap this year's All-BISL teams, voted on by the players. 

 
All-BISL First Team
All-BISL Second Team
G: Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC      
G: Zahid Merchant, Anatolia FC
D: Salman Ahmad, Samarra FC
D: Farhan Butt, Hejaz FC
D: Hussam Ayubi, Hejaz FC
D: Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC
F: Nasir Rehman, Hejaz FC
F: Zain Khilji, Anatolia FC
F: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC
F: Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC
F: Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC
F: Muhammad Shah, Sham FC

And now, onto the awards...

Golden Boot

Winner: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC (12 goals)

Aadhil came, he saw and he conquered. The quick-footed and creative rookie notched 12 goals in his debut season. Aadhil's ability to beat defenders one-on-one and create chances for himself (and others) made him a tough cover for any defender and a nightmare for any goalkeeper.  

Regular Season MVP

Top Three Nominees: Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC; Nasir Rehman, Hejaz FC; Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC. 
Winner: Aadhil Mohamed, Samarra FC (12 goals, 6 assists, 18 points) 

Aadhil Mohamed's rookie display led him to capturing the first of what we expect will be many BISL MVP titles. Despite being a one-man attack in his own right, Mohamed's ability to link up with his teammates in tune to six helpers on the season showed that he did whatever was needed for his team to put the ball in the back of the net. The last three regular season MVP awards have gone to Samarra players (Danish Khan won the two years prior).

Playoff MVP

Top Three Nominees: Fawad Akram, Mike Isoufi, Zahid Merchant
Winner:  Fawad Akram, Anatolia FC (2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points in playoffs)

Finally, Fawad Akram holds the BISL trophy. One of the best players in the League since he joined in year three, Fawad always had the numbers but not the silverware. Akram's performance was one of many that contributed to Anatolia's success in the Finals, with rookie Mike Isoufi and BISL vet Zahid Merchant doing their part to bring it home for ANatolia. However, in the end it was Fawad's ability to pull the strings in midfield and keep his side on the front-foot that made him GM Zain Khilji's pick for Playoff MVP. Fawad's series of stellar performances for the Canaries in the playoffs led to a pair of goals and four assists in three games, with two assists coming in the Finals. 

Top Defender

Top Three Nominees: Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC; Hussam Ayubi, Hejaz FC; Salman Ahmed, Samarra FC.
Winner: Salman Ahmad, Samarra FC (2 goal, +4 GD)

 
Top Defender is always a difficult award to assess because the stats collected by the League do not appropriately reflect individual defensive displays. However, Salman Ahmad's combination of speed, passing range and high IQ made him a worthy candidate of the award this year. Often tasked with shutting down the top offensive player for his opposition, Salman always stood his ground and made his opponent work. With his passing and pace, he was able to chip with a pair of goals as well from the backline. 
 
Top Goalkeeper

Top Three Nominees: ‎Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC; Zahid Merchant, Andalusia FC; Basil Jeelany, Sham FC.
Winner: Jibran Waqar, Andalusia FC (5 wins, 2 clean sheets, 87 saves) 

Jibran rejoined the League as a goalkeeper this year and those who know him from softball knew he had the reflexes and athleticism to be a quality keeper in the League. However, nobody expected him to be the kind of dominant force he was. Waqar was a big reason as to why Andalusia flirted with the top seed all season long and was a brick wall in goal. Week in, week out, Jibs provided us highlight reel saves and we feel that this won't be the last time we see his name listed as Top Goalkeeper in the League.

Most Improved Player

Top Three Nominees: Nabeel Jabbar, Jerusalem FC; Shahbaz Tayyub, Samarra FC; Salman Ahmad, Sham FC.
Winner: Nabeel Jabbar, Jerusalem FC (2 wins, 74 saves)

After a season of ups-and-downs that saw few bright spots for Jerusalem all season, Nabeel Jabbar shone the brightest. Had Jabbar been the number one for JFC from the onset of the season, we may have been talking about him in the previous category - that's how impressive his performances were. Jabbar grew in confidence with every week in the second half of the season, and put up the sort of displays that are the epitome of 'stealing a point' from the opposition. We cannot imagine him lasting in the later rounds of the draft next year. 

Brotherhood Award

Nominees: ‎Owais Ansari, Andalusia FC; Riaz Murad, Anatolia FC;  Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC; Umair Ashraf, Hejaz FC; Basil Jeelany, Samarra FC; Humeid Masood, Sham FC.
Winner: Murtaza Tirmizi, Jerusalem FC

Always the toughest award to choose. Year after year, we have a number of quality brothers that deserve to be mentioned in this section. However, it is tough to quib with the selection of Murtaza Tirmizi for this year's Brotherhood Award. On the pitch, Murtaza was jovial with teammates and foes alike and someone we view as the exact kind of player we want in this league - high calibre in terms of skill and character. Off the field, Murtaza was instrumental in the League's social media campaigns, especially with his matchday coverage (shoutout to other members of the social media team for their contributions as well, by the way). We are grateful for guys like Murtaza in the League, as he embodies the values of the League and appreciate all he brings to BISL.  

That brings a close to Season Six of BISL. Congratulations to all award recipients, and thank you to all the players, supporters and sponsors that made this season a memorable one. See you on the pitch next year and please take appropriate measures during this pandemic. Our prayers are with you all and we look forward to seeing you all in the future insha'Allah. 

Anatolia FC - 2020 Champions

Hejaz and Anatolia played a classic defensive battle in the 1st half the final. It wasn't till midway through the 2nd that Anatolia found their finishing touch. GM Zain Khilji blasted a through ball from Fawad Akram to open the scoring. Mike Isoufi would add a second 7 minutes later to double the lead. Mike would then set up Syed "Ronaldo" Kazmi on a through ball for a Kazmi finish and celebration to make it 3-0. Hejaz put on all the pressure after that and found a goal by GM Taqi Ahmed with 4 minutes to play. They created a bunch of chances but missed that finishing touch. Komayl Jawadi would once again get the final kick as he tapped in a Fawad Akram pass to finish the match at 4-1. A fantastic final played with great sportsmanship. Congrats to Hejaz on a fantastic season. Anatolia are finally BISL Champions ending their 6 year drought. 

 


Finals Rumours

[written by: Hashim Ghazi]
 
   FINALS: #4 HEJAZ vs #2 ANATOLIA (8:45PM Field 3)   
And then there were two. After two very intense second-legs, the Canaries take on Los Blancos. Two teams with relatively different styles face off to see who is crowned champion in our most competitive season yet. Both of these teams have been battled tested throughout the season and have the personnel and steel to play in the most intense of affairs. Whoever is crowed victor will no doubt deserve it, as Hejaz take on Anatolia in this year’s BISL Finals. 
 
   HEJAZ FC   
GM: Taqi Ahmed (2nd Year as GM)
Regular Season Record (W-D-L, Pts, GD): 5-2-4, 17 pts, -9 GD
How They Got Here: defeated Samarra 4-2 on aggregate
Projected Starting VI (* denotes All-BISL): U. Sheikh; H. Ayubi*, F. Butt*; N. Rehman*, T. Ahmed; H. Ahmed

Lead Goalscorer: Nasir Rehman (7 goals) 
Lead Assist Man: Nasir Rehman/Hannan Ahmed (4 assists)
Team MVP: Nasir Rehman
Team X-Factor: Farhan Butt
 
Team Finals Appearances: 3 (2015, 2016, 2017)
Team Championships: 2 (2015, 2016)
Previous Champions on Finals Squad: 4 – F. Azmat (2017), H. Ayubi (2018), U. Ashraf (2018, 2019)
 
Hejaz had an “us against the world” attitude since the beginning of the season and it seemed like that narrative only furthered with every passing week. The only guys that really believed that they had what it takes to make it this far was GM Taqi Ahmed and the players dressed in white on Sundays. It is that kind of attitude that builds character and chemistry amongst a team and it is that exact attitude and belief that brought them to the Finals.
 
After controlling a strong Samarra attack in the first leg, Hejaz stayed poised on limiting the chances for their opponents in Leg 2 en route to a convincing 3-1 win where the result never looked in doubt. Both Nasir Rehman and Farhan Butt scored a goal and provided a helper, and the icing on the cake to put it away was courtesy of none other than team architect and GM Taqi Ahmed. Over the two legs, Hejaz looked like the better team, and particularly in the second leg, it was not even close.
 
Taqi Ahmed has created a side that plays to its strengths and gives up very little to its opponents. Nasir Rehman has been the team MVP this season but we can’t ignore others. Hannan Ahmed has been a force in his first year in the league, as has defender Farhan Butt. Veteran Hussam Ayubi has played every position for the side and is willing to do what it takes for his team to win. The team is led by captain and keeper Umair Sheikh who has had yet another solid campaign between the sticks for his side. The team relies on contributions from every area of the pitch and though we give a lot of love to their starters, we can’t ignore how important the guys off the bench in Furhan Azmat, Hamza Waheed, Mustafa Tirmizi and Umair Ashraf are in terms of keeping that intensity high and continue to play Hejaz’s brand of football when called upon. After a number of question marks surrounding the side after the draft, Taqi and his squad have proved doubters wrong again and again and sit 50 minutes from capturing Hejaz’s third ever League title (and the first under the new regime). 
 
   ANATOLIA FC   
GM: Zain Khilji (6th year as GM)
Regular Season Record (W-D-L, Pts, GD): 4-5-2, 17 pts, +11 GD
How They Got Here: Defeated Andalusia 5-5 (3-2 on pens) on aggregate
Projected Starting VI (* denotes All-BISL): Z. Merchant*; K. Jawadi, S. Yar; M. Isoufi, F. Akram*, Z. Khilji*

Lead Goalscorer: Zain Khilji (9 goals) 
Lead Assist Man: Fawad Akram (10 assists)
Team MVP: Fawad Akram
Team X-Factor: Komayl Jawadi
 
Team Finals Appearances: 0
Team Championships: 0
Previous Champions on Finals Squad: 2 – A. Chawdhry (2015), Z. Merchant (2017)
 
Meanwhile, while the history books for Hejaz contain pages and pages of team success, the pages for Anatolia remain relatively thin. In fact, there is not even a chapter titled “BISL Finals” because they always came up short. However, GM Zain Khilji had a different approach to building his side this year. Zain opted for veteran, versatile guys that can play multiple positions and have the type high IQ you want in a champion side to see through tactical masterclasses.
 
That sort of masterclass was on display first-hand in the second leg of the semis, as the Canaries put up three quick goals and steadied the ship after their opponents came back to take the match to penalties. They kept their composure and saw out victory in the shootout to punch their ticket to the Finals. Mike Isoufi had big shoes to fill for the Canaries upon joining the side, and after a hat trick performance, filled them admirably. The constantly threatening Fawad Akram pitched in a goal and two assists himself in the second leg that helped them go through.
 
This team has battled the injury bug all season and despite a rash of injuries that saw top players miss time and withdraw from the League, the Turks remained composed and continued to push on. With all due respect to Anatolian squads of past, this has been the best defensive side to ever suit up in Yellow. In fact, the team gave up the least number of goals on the season. Much of that credit goes to keeper Zahid Merchant and the primary defensive pairing of Komayl Jawadi and Shahar Yar. The midfield trio of GM Zain Khilji, #1 pick and top point-getter Fawad Akram and rookie Mike Isoufi take up different positions across the pitch and interchange fluidly, leaving opposing defences guessing as to who will set up or finish off the goal. Like their final’s opponents, this team is not just six men deep as the depth of the squad and collective high soccer IQ is a key to their success. Despite the razzle and dazzle of the stars, it’s guys like Arshad Chawdhry, Hasan Afzal, Riaz Murad and Syed Kazmi that win you championships. Anatolia have all the pieces needed to win a championship and now see themselves with a chance to raise silverware for the first time ever this coming Sunday. 
 
   THE VERDICT   
Under the bright lights of Jean Vanier dome on Sunday, only one team will be crowned champions. Anatolia had the advantage during the season, drawing the first matchup 1-1 and winning the second 5-1; the last matchup especially had some fireworks that remain fresh in the minds of both sides. However, as we all know, the regular season cannot compare to the playoffs, and Hejaz have looked like the best side in the postseason thus far. So who will it be – Hejaz or Anatolia? Let’s see what the opposing GMs are saying: 
 
Saqib Dadabhoy, GM of Jerusalem: HEJ 1-2 ANA | MOTM: ANA Zain Khilji
Muhammad Shah, GM of Sham: HEJ 2-1 ANA | MOTM: HEJ Nasir Rehman
Omar Sheikh, GM of Andalusia: HEJ 2-1 ANA | MOTM: HEJ Umair Sheikh
Junaid Akram, GM of Samarra: HEJ 1-2 ANA | MOTM: ANA Fawad Akram
 
Evidently, it's a toss up as to who will come out on top but expect a high-intensity affair between two teams that are willing to give their all to raise the cup. Good luck to both sides and may the best team win. 
 
[Editor’s Note: this is our last formal write-up of the season and I just wanted to say thank you to all the readers and supporters of the Rumours. This would not have been possible without our amazing team of writers, so all the credit goes to Bassam Basit, Humeid Khan, Riaz Murad, Umair Ashraf and Zain Khilji for their contributions throughout the year – our best year of content yet!]

Zero Tolerance Policy for Inappropriate Conduct

As we gear up for our sixth season, we wanted to highlight a few changes made to the rules this season. We want to remind all our players, while we take pride in the competitive balance, this is strictly a recreational league. We try our best to make this a safe and enjoyable experience for all our players. The Brotherhood and iIslamic values of this league are paramount and take priority over competition.
 
With that in mind, we will have a zero tolerance policy for any confrontations and aggressive play. 
 
Rule changes: 
 
1. A straight Red card will result in a minimum player fine of $20 and an automatic one game suspension. Any further punishment is at the discretion of the league. All fines must be paid before the teams next scheduled league match. Non-payment will result in the player not being eligible to play.
2. Hearings will only be conducted if any further punishment will need to be discussed. 
3. Adjustment to punishment for Cards throughout the season: 
  • First yellow card - No action
  • Second yellow card - $20 fine
  • Third yellow card - 1-game suspension and $20 fine
  • Fourth yellow card - Suspension for the entire season
  • Please review all the rules at http://www.brotherhoodsoccer.com/?p=rules