Twelve 'rising stars' get nod

No player from Karnataka found a place in the twelve-member squad that was selected for a training stint at the Manchester United Soccer School in Carrington, England.

The squad, featuring players from all over India, was chosen to train as part of the Airtel Rising Stars initiative. Around 20,000 children took part in the talent hunt which took place in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India over a period of three months. The list was trimmed down to 53 players and they were put through their paces for five days.

“We had four sessions in Bangalore. The first session involved dribbling skills, the second, passing and recieving and third, defending and fourth -- most importantly -- goal scoring,” said head coach Kevin O’Connell said.

“We also conducted a few small matches at the end of the stint to see where the players stood. We were looking for all-round ability, and not just that, we had to look at their attitude and desire and their ability to listen. From what we assessed, these twelve were a little better than the others.”

Final twelve: Mukul Mohindra, Karthikeya Swarup (both from Delhi), Russel Lyngdoh Nongkynrih, Remitri Thama (both from Shillong), Ashish Sharma, Porus F Shroff (both from Mumbai), Jijo F, Rahul M (both from Kochi), Krishanu Santra (Kolkata), Rishab Dhere (Pune), Teja Pawan Kumar (Hyderabad), Afdal VK (Calicut).

Stand-bys: Md Shafi (Calicut), Jordan Fernandes, Akeraj Martins (both from Pune), Joel Fernandes (Goa).

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