Thiruvananthapuram: The football ground on Valiathura beach, once the only field for Thiruvananthapuram's coastal footballers, has shrunk, because of sea erosion.
The thinning has been dramatically sudden, spanning just two or three years, according to residents.
"Earlier two eleven-member teams could play on this ground. Now, at the most, two five-member teams can play. The ground's boundary was beyond the three rows of houses devoured by the sea," says Shyam Simon, a regular here.
Shaijumon M., who was in the Kerala team in 2016-2017, continues to come to the ground for his daily practice.
"Most of it got eroded within the last three years," he says. Practising in a fives' team is not adequate for a professional player. So Shaijumon, who represents SBI's team now, occasionally practices in Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, Palayam. The younger players, however, wait for their turn, as the ground can accommodate only ten people now. The ground has been the alma mater for many a footballer, some of whom have represented Kerala and brought home Santhosh Trophy.
This was where B, Edison, who was in the Kerala team when V. P. Satyan led it to Santhosh Trophy title, played, according to Jude Antony, general secretary, Valiathura Football Academy....