RFYC Selections witness huge success in Delhi and Guwahati

The Reliance Foundation Young Champs Selections caravan reached Delhi and Guwahati on Sunday as Delhi Dynamos FC and NorthEast United FC hosted their Club Scouting Festivals at the Wellington Ground, Chanakyapuri in Delhi and the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati respectively. Registrations began at 9 am in Guwahati and 8 am in Delhi with the trials commencing shortly after, at 9 am in the capital city.

The enthusiastic youngsters at Delhi Dynamos FC’s Scouting Festival were put through their paces under the watchful gaze of Mark Vaessen, head coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs, Jose Barreto, assistant coach of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs, and 15 local coaches contracted by Delhi Dynamos FC.

Shakti Chauhan, technical director of the Dynamos’ grassroots programme and Raman Vijayan, assistant coach for the senior team, headed Delhi’s contingent of local coaches. The youngsters present at the Lions’ Scouting Festival were scouted from schools, academy festivals, the Subroto Cup, Hindustan Times GIFA and Lehleh Sports.

Delhi Dynamos FC hitman Robin Singh was also in attendance to show his support. The India international stressed the need for the youngsters to enjoy the game. “You have got to let them have fun, score some goals and let them love the game for themselves until it naturally comes to them. When it comes to the technical stuff, you have got to get the touches right, get your awareness up and learn how to play with your head up. I think these things they should learn to build their career and that’s good for them as well,” said the 25-year-old.

The NorthEast United FC Scouting Festival saw the participants being put through their drills by Piet Hubers, technical Director of the Grassroots Development Programme for the Hero Indian Super League, and six other local coaches as well as NorthEast United FC’s grassroots director Rahul Sharma. Hubers later spoke about his thoughts on the Scouting Festival in Guwahati.“The bar was high already when I travelled to Guwahati because last year we had a lot of good players from here in our young champs training camp and also in the young champs programme. This year again we saw a lot of good players, especially in the age group ‘2004’. So in the end, I think we’ll get a lot of players [from here] who’ll be invited for the training camp of the young champs programme next month in Mumbai,” Hubers said.

Participants from both venues had their techniques tested with exercises such as the Cruyff turn, scissors and ball control. Their ball retention ability was also gauged by the coaches through a possession play-based drill, which required them to keep the ball in their possession for as long as possible. Both Scouting Festivals ended with the participants facing off against one another in very competitive 4-v-4 matches as well as 7-v-7 games that gave the coaches a better idea of their game play and composure with the ball at their feet in match situations.

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