Month: February 2016 (page 2 of 2)

U15 Youth League – Group A Off to a Great Start

Once Shillong Lajong FC U15 beat Gauhati Town Club U15 last Friday, we thought we were done with the U15 Youth League for a while, but a new Zone A started their matches on Sunday, and we’ve had three action-packed days of football since! Here’s a quick look at the scores of matches played this last week:

I League U15 Group A Results Week 1

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India on Track Encouraging Grassroots & Youth Football

In 1971, the Jagatjit Cotton & Textile Football Club (JCT FC) was founded in Punjab. A professional football club, they played in the I-League and the Punjab State Super League for many years, winning numerous tournaments and glorifying the state when it came to football. Unfortunately, a lack of support for the sport led to the team being disbanded after the 2010-2011 I-League season. Despite the first team no longer playing, young talent was still being admitted into the JCT Academy – a full-fledged academy where children have access to education as well as football training. In August last year, in an attempt to revive the once glorious name of JCT, India on Track (IOT) gained ownership of the Academy in Hoshiarpur with the aim of reviving their senior football team, and also introducing foreign coaches into the Academy to boost football in the country.

IOT Scouting Session in Mangolpuri

IOT and Baliga Memorial Trust Conduct a Scouting Session for Children from the Mangolpuri Slums
Source: IOT-Arsenal Football Page

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Rio Ferdinand on Work Ethic

We often talk about sport for sports sake, or letting children play sport just for fun, but there’s one very important lesson that sport teaches us and it is the need to develop a solid work ethic to succeed in any field.

And this is what Rio Ferdinand, one of England’s best defenders, talks about here in this video. Speaking to youth at the Oxford Union Society on the importance of work ethic, Rio tells us that as players, leaders, managers and coaches, we need to be able to criticize ourselves first, before we criticize anybody else.

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ASA Footballers Unbeaten in Maiden U15 Youth League Appearance

The 2015-16 season has been a great time for football at the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA). The boys have been performing well, ever since the ASA joined hands with Fateh Hyderabad Associated Football Club (FHAFC) to support them in their I-League debut.

It all started when Fateh Hyderabad signed ASA’s senior-most player, S. Bhaskar Reddy to play for their I-League Division 2 team. This was followed by the signing of all the senior U18 ASA boys and U15 ASA boys to play in the IU18 I-League and U15 Youth Leagues for Fateh Hyderabad, respectively.

ASA Team Warms Up

Warming Up Before a Game
Source: ASA

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Grassroots Football Dictionary – 1

A little Grassroots Football Dictionary that applies to all – kids, coaches, parents! Chin up and keep working hard!

Grassroots Football Dictionary 1

U15 Youth League – Zonal Phase Nears Conclusion

The zonal phase of the U15 Youth League is nearing its end. Over the past three weeks, Groups E and F played all their matches, and the last few matches of the Guwahati-Shillong Zone (Group D) were also played. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of these matches, before we look back on how the first 6 groups ended the zonal phase.

SLFC U15 Celebrating

Shillong Lajong FC’s U15 Celebrate a Win
Source: Shillong Lajong FC Facebook Page

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A Talent for Learning

He was twice voted European Midfielder of the Year, guided his team to two consecutive Champions League finals, was wanted by Real Madrid but never sold to them, scored one of the best goals ever in the 1999 Copa del Rey final, is considered one of the very best and remorseless, cold-eyed penalty takers in history, and till today, is regarded as one of the all-time greats at his club. If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about Gaizka Mendieta of Valencia CF.  (Goodness knows, Gary Neville could do with a player of his class right now! But we digress…)

Here’s Mendieta’s goal from that Copa del Rey final – WOOF!!!!

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Ramco Cements Strengthens Football in Kerala

2013 Santosh Trophy Final

Kerala Playing Services in the 2013 Santosh Trophy Final

At the Santosh Trophy final in 2013, Kerala striker R. Kannan missed out on a beautiful opportunity to score, and the match ended up going into penalties with Kerala losing to Services 3-4. After the match, at a dinner hosted by their sponsors, Ramco Cements, R. Kannan lamented about the missed opportunity. However, instead of dwelling on how he could have possibly salvaged a game in the past, he told Balaji K. Moorthy of Ramco Cements that he intended on working harder and bringing home the cup in 2014!

Inspired by R. Kannan’s dedication to the sport, Ramco Cements decided to tie up with the Kerala Football Association again, and work towards boosting the sport in the state. They started the Ramco Kerala Premier League in 2014, which saw participation from 12 clubs across the state. In keeping with their commitment to football in Kerala, Ramco recently started a new youth league, the Ramco State Academy League. This one-of-a-kind U16 football competition is being held between the champion academies of each of the 14 districts in the state.

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Messi Chats with La Masia Kids

Here’s a lovely video of La Masia captains, from the U10s right up to the U19s, having a chat with one Lionel Messi. Enjoy it!
WATCH: Messi interviewed by La Masia captains – ESPN Video

Lessons from Bilbao

In a world of multi-million pound transfers, eye-watering wages and superstar lifestyles off the pitch, here’s a European football club that is refreshingly different – steeped in tradition and nearly completely dependent on their academy, the ‘Lezama’, to provide a pipeline of talent to the first team. This is Athletic Club Bilbao.

Athletic, as they are commonly referred to in Spain, was founded over a century ago in 1898 and won the Copa del Rey title 23 times and numerous Spanish league titles before Real Madrid and Barcelona began their dominance. Coming from a country that has several thousand football clubs, Athletic stand out because they are known to only recruit players who come from the Greater Basque country that covers the north-east of Spain and some parts of France. Despite the limitations, some of the outstanding talents that have played for the club in recent times include Ander Herrera, now at Manchester United, Javi Martinez, now at Bayern Munich, and Fernando Llorente, now at Sevilla.

Athletic Bilbao

The Athletic Team Ready for a Match
Source: Athletic Club Facebook Page

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