BFC to start grassroot initiative

With the under-17 World Cup scheduled to be held in India in 2017, there has been increased focus on young players in the country.

Lots of kids who showcase good talent at the youth level get lost in the spectrum because of the absence of proper coaching structures in place.

Keeping this in mind, Bengaluru FC on Tuesday announced their ‘BFC Soccer School’ initiative here at the Bangalore Football Stadium — an exclusive grass roots programme designed by the club to attract the top youth talent in the city. 

According to the club’s COO, Mustafa Ghouse, they hope to build centres all over Bangalore, with the first one at Bellandur. “The centre will be operational from the second or the third week of April,” Ghouse said. 

The centre will have kids in three age-groups (Under-7, Under-9 and Under-11) and each category will have 24 players.

The fee for the course is Rs 2000 per month apart from a registration fee of Rs 1500. The registration will be done on first-come-first-served basis. 

BFC coach, Ashley Westwood, who came up the ranks through the Manchester United Academy, was all praise for the programme.

“Here (in India), I have noticed that boys start coaching at 14 or 15 and that may be too late. It is important to get the foundation right at a younger age.” 

The club’s chief of youth development, Richard Hood, will oversee the programme and it will function for 10-11 months in a year.

Hood, a UEFA ‘B’ license holder and a widely travelled coach across Europe, said that ultimate goal “was to bridge the gap between the junior and senior levels.”

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