Ex-Swansea FC footballer Garry Monk visits Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy

As a part of the cooperation agreement signed between the Premier League and Indian Super League (ISL) to support football in India, former Swansea FC footballer Garry Monk and Southampton FC Academy Manager Matt Hale visited the Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy (RFYC) in Navi, Mumbai – an integral partner of the Indian Super League Grassroots Programme, to have an interactive session with the academy prospects and share their expertise with the budding footballers.

Monk and Hale met aspiring players and RFYC academy coaches to share their experiences of working in the Premier League. Some of the players attending the session visited Premier League club Academies in 2016 as part of a trip organised by the leagues for young scholars to experience and learn from the Premier League youth development system.

Garry Monk, former Swansea FC player said: “For the Premier League to come over, see how these things work, see how they can help in any way and set up an alliance to help these young kids and their coaches, and possibly broaden that across the country is fantastic. I’ve been speaking to the coaches here too and they know that’s very important.”

Matt Hale, Southampton FC Academy Manager said: “We are happy to share information on how we operate and hopefully the ISL can take things on from there and see if that fits with the particular way in which they work. The football landscape is very different in the UK and India. But I think some of the unique ways we work as an academy, in terms of pathway and productivity are lessons that we can pass on.”

The Premier League formed a strategic partnership with the ISL in 2014. This partnership sees the Premier League support the development of football in India through sharing knowledge and expertise in key areas such as talent and coach development, participation, governance and marketing. Premier Skills is the Premier League’s global coach and referee development programme, which has been running in India since 2007.

The Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy kicked off in May 2015 and is a unique multi-year full time residential football and education scholarship that seeks to assist the nation in creating not only the next generation of football stars, but also its future role models and leaders. In 2016, Reliance Foundation Young Champs visited Premier League clubs in England on a 12- day tour as a part of the partnership. The young players participated in training sessions with clubs such as Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace FC, Southampton FC, West Bromwich Albion FC, Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC. They also played matches against the Premier League academy counterparts, experienced stadium tours and participated in community days before meeting with the Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore.

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