Boca want to emerge best academy in City

With well-known football clubs from all over the world either setting up academies or training centres in and around the city, Bangalore may soon become an important football destination in the country.

Argentinian powerhouse Boca Juniors believed in the same sentiment and said they want to get a firm grip in the footballing landscape of Bangalore.

After inaugurating their Academy here last June, their new Indian Technical Diector, Darren Wiltshire, who was presented to the media here on Friday, said that they wanted to have the best football academy here.

“The idea for us is that the academy becomes the best in Bangalore.” Given that they will be competing with the likes of Inter Milan (who are setting up a facility near Hosur) and I-League club Bengaluru FC, it’s a stiff challenge but Wiltshire doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s good to have these academies here, centered in and around the city. I personally don’t view this as a competitive environment. Perhaps, it will be good if the best players from the all the centres play matches against each other,” he opined.

A lot of clubs have been getting into India in the last few years but there has been no tangible improvement as no youngster managed to create waves in the national league. Wiltshire said he understands the scepticism.

“This is going to be a long term programme (two to five years) and I can understand the scepticism. But from what I have seen, some of the young players we have at our base in Whitefield are extremely talented and we believe that they will go on to become professional footballers,” he explained.

Their faculty is home to 150 players – all within the age group of between five and 17 – and Wiltshire said at least 10 per cent of them have exhibited technical skills that could be comparable to their European counterparts.

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