Month: October 2015 (page 1 of 3)

AC Milan Trains #TheFuture

It’s always fantastic when one of Europe’s leading youth academies opens its doors to the world and offers a glimpse of how they go about their youth development. There’s much to learn.

Through this fantastic video, we get a chance to understand how seriously European powerhouse and Serie A football club, AC Milan, takes the development of young footballers. Further, the video highlights how the club grooms talented youngsters and teaches them what the sport is all about. Starting at ages as young as 9 and 10-years-old, AC Milan ensures that the children maintain a balanced life and keep up good grades while training to become professional footballers.

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Scott O’Donell on Youth Development in India

AIFF LogoThe All India Football Federation (AIFF) U-17 team won the Subroto Cup earlier this month, and were awarded the trophy by none other than football legend, Pelé. Although AIFF had a humble beginning in 1937, the organisation has come a very long way since then. The AIFF Technical Director is former Australian football player, Scott O’Donell, and the Federation has plans to spread their wings further, and really touch the lives of youth through their Academies and training programmes. While the win is surely a feather in their cap, AIFF maintains that youth development is not at all about winning.

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India’s U15 Youth League is Here, Finally

Under 15 Youth League IndiaFar removed from the floodlights of the Indian Super League, there’s a quiet buzz around I-League club offices across the country.  The Under-18 I-League has already started in almost all zones, but it’s the Under-15 Youth League that has captured everybody’s attention within the football fraternity – coaches and parents alike. Several meetings and delays later, it’s finally happening – India’s Under-15 Youth League is here and all set to begin tomorrow. The first match of the league will see Mohammedan Sporting Club host Mohun Bagan AC in a Kolkata derby with other zonal leagues around the country slated to kick off within a week.

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FutureStars Football Academy – Coaching Rising Stars

FSFA LogoFootball-loving brothers Saahil and Sanil Desai decided to set up FutureStars Football Academy (FSFA), a grassroots football academy in Mumbai in 2012. Their motivation behind opening the academy was to take their passion for football to the next level, and give young children a chance to be active while falling in love with the beautiful game. The brothers started playing football at a young age, and today they hope to pass on this love to all the children who come to the Academy. GFI had a chance to interview Co-Founder and Director Saahil Desai. Here’s what he had to say.

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This. Is. Brilliant.

Emirates just showed the world how football sponsorship is done. Brilliant!

U Dream Football Gives Talent a Chance

U Dream FootballEvery young footballer dreams about making it to the big leagues. Every child starts playing football as a hobby, but for some, football becomes their whole life. U Dream Football is a program that helps those individuals who want to make it big in the football world. The program works under the guidance of Bundesliga and in association with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The U Dream Football program started in 2014 to scout for talented individuals who were Under-15, but had a flair for football. After screening more than 10,000 students in over 800 schools across the country, program coaches from Germany shortlisted 15 of India’s finest U-15 footballers, and took them to Germany earlier this year to train at the club’s youth training academy in Zuzenhausen for the next 6 years.

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Key Qualities of a Young Footballer

So we’ve been thinking about the qualities that coaches look out for in young footballers, especially at the grassroots level, for a while now. And it’s been hard work coming up with this list. There was a lot of debate and discussion within our community of coaches and this is what we’ve come up with. It’s not like it’s a final, conclusive checklist. At best, it may be something you can refer to going forward. At worst, it may incite you enough to write a nasty comment below.

What’s most important for us, as soccer parents and coaches, is to air our thoughts about this often neglected conversation in grassroots and youth football circles, especially in India. So here goes…

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With the Indian Super League (ISL) in full swing, Ola Cabs, the official ride of Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City, Delhi Dynamos and Atletico de Kolkata, has decided to take the football fever sweeping the nation and put it to good use with their #PassItForward campaign. The initiative gives football fans a chance to show off their skills, challenge a friend and do some good for Indian football while they’re at it!  Here’s how you can #PassItForward:

Ola Cabs Pass It Forward

How To #PassItForward
Image Credit: Ola Cabs Blog

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Get Well Soon, Johan

After winning three successive European Cups with Ajax, three Ballon d’Ors, eight Eredivisie titles, and one La Liga title as a player, several more honours as a manager with Barcelona and Ajax, possibly the greatest exponent of Rinus Michels’ Total Football philosophy, 68-year-old Johan Cruyff will take on a new opponent now – lung cancer.

While we are saddened at hearing the news, all of us at GFI wish one of the most inspirational coaches of all time a speedy recovery. #AnimsCruyff

Johan Cruyff Lung Cancer

Happy Dussehra!

A very happy Dussehra to football lovers all over the world! May truth always prevail.

Happy Dusshera Football Lovers

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