Fifth RFYC Final Selection Camp concludes successfully

The fifth edition of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) Final Selection Camp successfully concluded at Navi Mumbai on Tuesday. The programme saw 56 children, handpicked by RFYC scouts from across the country, undergo training sessions and matches, segregated into morning and evening sessions, under the supervision of Head of Youth Mark Vaessen and other academy technical staff. The participants also engaged in 4v4, 7v7 and 11v11 tournaments over the last five days.

The camp not only presented the youngsters an opportunity to hone their footballing skills aided by some of the best youth coaches in the country but also served as an opportunity to earn their entry into the prestigious RFYC academy - the premier residential football academy in India. This year, the children also had the opportunity to attend a talk conducted by Sunil Chhetri at the Reliance Corporate Park.

After the five-day-long camp, 16 of the 56 participants were chosen to be inducted in the academy's Class of 2019.

Providing an overview of the camp, RFYC U-16 coach Jose Barretto said, "We are really happy the way things went. We have seen different types of players from different parts of India and it has fulfilled our expectations. They have very good commitment levels. We are really happy with the way the players faced the situations thrown at them. There are a lot of talented players."

Speaking about the development of grassroots level football in India over the past few years, the Brazilian opined, "Things are changing. It has been really positive. Before it was very difficult for the players to reach the top level. But now, the initiative starts with the coach. They are reaching out to the kids. I think that’s really good. That’s why we had a lot of talent this year."

Barreto's colleague and U-14 RFYC coach Saksham Kakkar provided an insight into the gradual expansion of the programme and stated, "This is the fifth edition of the camp. I think the name and the repute of the academy have really caught on and built up over the years. This has led to widespread interest and competition even in remote areas to get a chance to be part of the academy. This year, the number of players and the enthusiasm they showed and the competitiveness they had in training to try and get in the final round was immense."

Seventeen-year-old Yashvender Singh, who was inducted into the academy after the first-ever RFYC camp, shared his experience with the programme and said, "It's been an amazing experience. One of the best experiences I could ever get. I think I’m very lucky to be part of this academy for four years. You don’t develop only as a footballer but as a good person who can stay in a society really well. It will always help me. On the academic front too, it is an amazing opportunity. It has been a brilliant journey."

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