Apart from popularising football in the country, the Indian Super League (ISL) is doing a good job of encouraging clubs to invest in grassroots football. In 2015, the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) initiative was kick-started as part of the ISL’s grassroots programme. The RFYC Program makes use of the ISL’s clubs’ grassroots initiatives to spot talented children from across the country between the ages of 11 and 14. The Foundation then offers the most talented and deserving children full-time residential scholarships to the Reliance Foundation School.
In 2015, after a few rounds of scouting and trials, the Reliance Foundation gave 24 aspiring footballers full-time residential football and education scholarships to their academy. This year, they hope to add another 17 talents to their programme. Through their scholarships, the Reliance Foundation hopes to provide children a well-rounded sporting as well as educational environment that they can thrive in.
“At Reliance Foundation and Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), we believe that sports and education go hand in hand. We will ensure that these children graduate with their talents and skills honed to realise their potential to the fullest.” – Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation and FSDL
As part of their selection process for this year, every ISL team held open trials and grassroots festivals to identify the most promising players born in the years 2004 and 2005. Each club shortlisted around 120 students who they felt would benefit the most from the RFYC Program. The chosen youngsters will have to go through another round of scouting under the watchful eyes of numerous grassroots coaches led by Piet Hubers, Technical Director of the Grassroots Development Program for the ISL, and Mark Vaessen, Head Coach of the RFYC Program from March 31st to April 4th. The coaches will evaluate the players on their passing ability, playing position, ball control, shooting accuracy and technique, and will then make a list of the most talented individuals who will go on to take part in the final RFYC selection camp in Mumbai. Here’s a quick look at the selection process they follow:
With the second edition of Reliance Foundation Young Champs programme’s Club Scouting Festival all set to get underway, here are some insights into the selection process! #RYFCSelections
Posted by ISL- Indian Super League on Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Hubers and Vaessen will work together and put the gifted youth through demanding training exercises to test their technical abilities and their endurance in the final selection camp. The 17 youngsters who show the most promise will be awarded RFYC scholarships, and will join the youth who started training at the academy last year. As part of the program, the boys are given a chance to train regularly at the academy while also continuing their education. The point of the scouting and selections is to find the best young talents from all over the country and give them a chance to reach their full potential while creating a talent pool for the country. If you’re getting prepared for the scouts, here are a few tricks Vaessan thinks are most important to master:
With the Reliance Foundation Young Champs prepared to take on a few more kids this year, here are the training drills you need to excel in at the upcoming scouting festivals. #RFYoungChamps #LetsFootball
Posted by ISL- Indian Super League on Thursday, 17 March 2016
The scouting is already underway. Click here to see the full schedule and find out when the RFYC scouts will be in your city!