FC Pune City’s grassroots initiative gathers momentum

Buoyed by the success of their grassroots development programme in 2015, FC Pune City have kick-started their 2016 grassroots initiative with several scouting festivals, workshops, train the trainer programmes besides the addition of more junior squads. The Stallions have started a comprehensive football grassroots development programme that looks at building a strong football framework within the Pune region as they bid to keep their promise of helping football grow in a structured manner. The primary objective of FC Pune City’s grassroots programme is to offer professional opportunities to learn and participate in the sport, while also nurturing talent by providing progressive platforms for footballers to showcase their potential.

“We need to align and integrate all the raw talent and nurture them which in turn will catapult FC Pune City into a new bastion of Indian football. Ours is a young city and no doubt with huge talent potential, need of the hour is to provide opportunities through high-level training and development programmes. To begin with, we are initiating two programmes; first being a coaching workshop for school kids and then followed by a talent scouting programme,” said FC Pune City CEO Mr. Gaurav Modwel.

Mr José Hevia (UEFA pro-coach) will be the head of their grassroots programme as FC Pune City look to reach out to schools across the city with the help of workshops. The workshops will feature basic level training for boys and girls aged between 8-15 years as well as elite level training sessions with football teams from schools. In return the schools are expected to involve their PE teachers and football coaches as a part of the workshop that will give them access to the ground, allowing them to conduct one-hour sessions with every batch.

FC Pune City will also be conducting a Train the Trainer programme that will require all the PE teachers from participating schools to come under one roof for a one-day coaching course that will include both theory and practical sessions. The Train the Trainer idea aims at developing a robust coach certification programme, which will be developed and executed by the club.

Three talent scouting festivals have been organised, with the final one scheduled to take place on 26th of March and will be followed by FCPC Scouting Festival for RFYC on April 2nd at FC Pune City’s development center, St. Vincent’s High school, where participating boys and girls will be scouted. The chosen boys and girls will then be segregated by creating talent pools in the form of under-10, 12 and 14 age groups. The chosen few will receive an opportunity to train at their St. Vincent’s High school development center, where FC Pune City have already been training two junior teams in the u-12 and u-14 age groups over the course of the last nine months.

The Stallions are also looking to expand their scouting range by conducting festivals in Kohlapur and will be registering an under-15 team, which will participate in the AIFF-backed under-15 I-League. Workshops organised last year across the top 40 schools in Pune was successful in attracting close to 40,000 kids. They followed it up with seven scouting programmes that saw over 2,500 talented kids in attendance as well as a one-day coaching workshop for all the physical education teachers and football coaches across the city with theory and practical sessions.

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