RFYC selections begin with ATK’s Scouting Festival
The Reliance Foundation Young Champs selections began with Atlético de Kolkata’s Scouting Festival at the Bidannagar Municipality Ground in Kolkata on Thursday. Registrations commenced at 9 am with several hopeful youngsters making their way to the venue in a bid to become the newest additions to the Reliance Foundation Young Champs programme and join the current crop of 23 youngsters, presently residing in Navi Mumbai.
The youngsters were put through numerous drills under the watchful gaze of Piet Hubers, the Technical Director of the Grassroots Development Programme for the Indian Super League; Mark Vaessen, the Head Coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs; Jose Barreto, the Assistant Coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs as well as 6 local coaches from Kolkata. Barreto spoke about the huge expectations he along with the rest of the coaches had from Kolkata.
“Of course our expectations from Kolkata are quite high. I think during last year’s selection we got more players from Kolkata than any other venue. We really do believe that Kolkata and Bengal really have fantastic potential and we believe that we’ll find fantastic talents over here.” said Barreto.
The participants were tested and put through numerous technical drills such as the Cruyff Turn, scissors and ball control. Their ball retention skills were also put to the test through a possession play based drill before they went on to play 4-v-4 matches and eventually 7-v-7 games. The Reliance Foundation Young Champs hopefuls were accompanied by their parents and guardians who were clearly impressed by what was on show.
“I think ISL grassroots is the right place for him because it is very popular in our country right now and it has been a career opportunity for many people across the country. Coaches are really polite and really experienced and the facilities are also really good.” commented a local guardian after observing the facilities on display.