A product of one of Argentina’s most successful football clubs, Club Atletico Boca Juniors, the Boca Juniors Football School came to India in 2013. Home to legendary footballers like Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez and Gabriel Batistuta, Boca Juniors was the first South American club to launch in India. Over the past 3 years they have operated in 6 schools across Bangalore, and their youth participated in this season’s U15 I-League tournament.
In an attempt to reach out to more children in India, Boca Juniors set up three of their academies in Mumbai this month. The Boca Junior Football Schools India (BJFSI) was launched by their Technical Director, Petros Sideris. The training in Mumbai will be headed by UEFA A Pro License holder, Antonio Lopez. The three centres in Mumbai are located in Wadala East, Andheri West and Ghatkopar West, and will start their training from March 25th, 21st and 22nd respectively. Speaking about training in India, here’s what General Coordinator of Boca Junior Football Schools, Oscar Aquino had to say:
“This is a great opportunity for young kids to learn the South American style of football. We are keen to have the academy run on an ongoing basis rather than limited period camps. It is important to train kids from a young age and on a regular basis.”
Training the Boca Way
Bringing Argentine football to India, Boca’s academy training programme provides year round training to the young footballers. At the academy, children learn the skills they need to develop on the pitch as well as off it. By providing technical, mental, tactical, physical and social development, the academy works towards the child’s holistic development. Skills are taught using fun games, manoeuvres, exercises and aerobics.
AT BJFSI, a child’s age is given the utmost value. Boys and girls above the age of 6 can register to train at the academy. The students are put into groups based on their age as well as their skills, with primary grouping being done based on age. The children in advanced skill groups are given special attention by the training team, so that they can improve further, and reach their full potential.
BJFSI promotes a certain amount of competition while training. The academy intends on having students participate in international tournaments like the Dubai Cup and Singa Cup, and in national tournaments like the AIFF U15 Youth League.
By conducting periodic assessments and interacting with the parents, the academy gets a better understanding of what their youth are capable of. Academy students are also given a chance to gain international exposure as they qualify for excursion trips to the club in Argentina and enjoy opportunities to train with the first team at the famous La Bombonera stadium. Boca also scouts for talented players at their academy, providing outstanding youth with partial and sometimes even full scholarships!
If a child isn’t ready to commit to year-long training, they can still benefit from the BJFSI training programme by signing up for a school holiday camp. The camps generally last for around 4 or 5 days, and are conducted during the winter and summer vacations. Schools who wish to give their students exposure to South American football can sign up for the BJFSI school programme, where the academy’s curriculum is moulded to fit a particular school’s needs.
While BJFSI is only in Bangalore and Mumbai right now, the club is hoping to expand further in the country.
“We are in third year of operations in Bangalore and extremely impressed with the potential we have seen so far. There is so much talent in India with limitless potential that we would like to tap them early. We want to create a unique experience for all the youngsters in and around Mumbai and more expansion is on the card.” – Petros Sideris, Technical Director, BJFSI
For more information on how to register at BJFSI in Mumbai, click here to visit the website, or call +91 90042 00200 or +91 92203 15243
An introductory 3 month registration costs Rs. 12,000 (as of 17 March, 2016).