Category: Schools & Academies (page 2 of 4)

Chhetri to Kick-Off Nationwide Talent Hunt

Paul Breitner, legendary German World Cup winner, recently spoke about how India could become a powerful footballing country in a couple of decades. While people may have scoffed or laughed at him, claiming that India’s forte is cricket or hockey, it’s important to remember that football is going through quite a transition in the country. Today’s youth watch the Premier League and Champions League like it’s going out of style, and the ISL has gripped audiences of all ages. So, maybe there is a bit of truth in the ex-German footballer’s prediction.

Doing his bit is Indian football captain, Sunil Chhetri, who is working on developing the sport in the country. One of only 3 footballers from the subcontinent to play abroad, Chhetri is sure to give the youth some valuable input on what they can do to become better and play better. His stint at Sporting Clube de Portugal (better known as Sporting Lisbon) in 2012 gave a ray of hope to aspiring footballers in India, letting them know that one day they too can play in the big leagues. Although Chhetri did not spend a lot of time with the Primeira Liga team, he’s partnered with them again to do something far more interesting.

The national captain has been named brand ambassador of an initiative called DreamChasers, which has him going on a nation-wide hunt to find 15 talented youngsters between the ages of 8 and 14. After 15 days of scouting across 9 cities, the selected youth will be shifted to the Dr. Cyrus Poonawala International School in Kolhapur, where they will train under top-class coaches and technical experts from Sporting Lisbon.

Sunil Chhetri Sporting Lisbon

Sunil Chhetri Playing with Sporting Clube de Portugal
Source: Sunil Chhetri Facebook Page

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Anantapur U18 Girls League Is A Huge Success

In December 2015, Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) kicked off the first ever Anantapur Football League (AFL) for girls. Although the Girls AFL came to an end in the first week of February 2016, the initiative has given girls and young women in Anantapur a definitive and bright future in football in India.

In the group stages, each team had to play six games, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the knock-out round to be played at ASA’s Anantapur Sports Village (ASV). The knock-out stage was scheduled in such a way, that the matches ended well before the athletes needed to prepare for their end-of-year exams. This meant that the players, their parents, coaches, and team managers could focus enough attention on the sport, without having to constantly worry about exam woes.

AFL Girls Final

Action from the 1st AFL Girls Final between Atmakur & Kalyandurg
Source: ASA

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FC Bayern U16 Youth Cup: From Mumbai to Munich

A tightly contested match between Mumbai’s Cathedral and John Connon School and Delhi’s Nalanda Public School brought the curtains down on the adidas FC Bayern Youth Cup India 2016 in Mumbai yesterday.

Bayern Youth Cup Match

The Teams Playing Hard for a Chance to Represent India

After 30 minutes of regulation time and extra-time yielded no goals in the final, the winner was decided by a penalty shootout. Rishi Kothari, Cathedral’s keeper, made some fabulous saves to ensure his school came out on top and will now represent India at the World Finals in Munich in May 2016. Better still, they will get a chance to watch a Bundesliga match at the legendary Allianz Arena! Other youth who stood out during the tournament were Akshunna Tyagi from Nalanda Public School who won the Player of the Delhi NCR Leg award, Krish from St. Lawrence who won the Player of the Mumbai Leg award, and Mundhiir from Treamis World School who won the Player of the Bengaluru Leg award.

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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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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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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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Pune FC Starts 2016 with the Right Foot Forward

Pune FC In the summer of 2011, the Pune FC Academy was started, and although the club no longer has a first team, they continue to focus on developing grassroots football in India. With the simple mantra of ‘Learn to Play the Pune FC Way’, the Academy has worked hard over the last 4 years, to carefully mould aspiring footballers in their city. The club recently topped the Maharashtra Zone in the U18 I-League and the U15 Youth League to qualify for the National Round to be held later this year.

As part of their youth development, Pune FC started off 2016 on a great note, by conducting a first of its kind intra-Soccer School Tournament at their training pitches in Mamurdi on the first weekend of the year. The aim of the tournament, was to bring together all the children from various Pune FC Soccer School centres across the city.

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Shillong Lajong FC Roll Out Grassroots Program

SLFC Grassroots Festival 1

Celebrating the grassroots festival at Malki Ground
Source: SLFC Website

One of the biggest complaints that Indian football fans have is that professional football clubs, neither ISL nor I-League, seldom invest enough into their community and grassroots programs. However, goaded by the AIFF and Technical Director, Scott O’Donell, it is the I-League clubs in particular that are beginning to show the way forward. While Pune FC and Bengaluru FC have among the best community and grassroots programs in India run by professional clubs, it is encouraging to see others like Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong FC (SLFC) reaching out.

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From Anantapur to the I-League

ASA I-League Preparation Camp

Mahogany FC Boys During Training at ASV
Source: ASA

With inputs provided by Maxon Sequeira

Over the last few months, we’ve had the opportunity to track the good work that Rural Development Trust (RDT) has been doing for football in Anantapur and neighbouring areas in Andhra Pradesh. Under the watchful eyes of Head Coach, Miquel Llado, the boys from Anantapur have been putting in the hard yards in training and it is nice to see that their efforts are gradually bearing fruit.

As testament to their progress, Anantapur Sports Academy’s (ASA) senior-most player, S Bhaskar Reddy, is already playing in the 2nd Division I-League club representing Fateh Hyderabad AFC. Not only that, several of the boys from Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) have been selected to play for Fateh Hyderabad AFC’s youth teams in the  U18 I-League and U15 Youth League. To help the boys prepare well for the leagues, Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) Football Academy hosted an exchange camp with two teams – Mahogany FC from Chennai and Ozone FC from Bengaluru earlier in December.

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Anantapur Gives Women a Voice Through Football

Contributed by Maxon Sequeira

Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) could still hear blissful echoes of the 2015 Andhra Pradesh Junior Women’s Hockey State Championship from the preceding weekend. Women’s sport in Anantapur got another boost as the Anantapur Football League (AFL) 2015 officials decided to start the first ever Anantapur Football League for Girls towards the end of the first leg of the 2015 AFL.

The AFL 2015 officials organized a meeting with all the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) mandals to finalize guidelines and rules for the Girls AFL that shall kick off its inaugural season towards the end of this year. The ASA, through this meeting also assessed each mandal’s contribution towards the AFL, in terms of participants and officials. This would also ascertain the way ahead for the Girls AFL.

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