RFYC Selections move from Kolkata to Mumbai

After a successful Kolkata leg, the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Selections moved to Mumbai City FC’s Scouting Festival at Fr. Agnel Ground in Navi Mumbai on Thursday. Registrations began from 4:15 pm with numerous youngsters in the under-14 age group making their way to the venue as they looked to impress the coaches and join the current crop of 23 youngsters, presently residing in Navi Mumbai.

The youngsters were put through several technical drills and were watched by Piet Hubers, technical Director of the Grassroots Development Programme for the Hero Indian Super League, Mark Vaessen, head coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs, Jose Barreto, assistant coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs as well as 12 local coaches from Mumbai. Vaessen spoke about the criteria of judgement for the participants and also stressed the importance of getting a head-start by beginning to play the game from an early age.“What they can learn while they are young is the technical aspect and if you start young, it is easier to teach because young kids can learn faster. Other aspects of the game are of course physical aspects and tactical, those things you can learn later on but the younger you start, the better it is for you,” Vaessen said.

The participants were evaluated on the basis of drills such as the Cruyff turn, scissors and ball control. Their ball retention ability was also tested by the coaches through a possession play-based drill aimed at keeping the ball for as long as possible. The Scouting Festival concluded with the participants playing against one another in high intensity 4-v-4 matches as well as 7-v-7 games to test their game sense and composure in match situations. They were also accompanied by their guardians who spoke about their inclination to enrol their children in the Reliance Foundation Young Champs programme.

“There’s a lot of scope in the football that they [RFYC] play. It is very systematic, organised and there’s also a big inclination to football these days so this is the best exposure I see in the future,” said a local guardian.

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