Youngsters hope to impress as RFYC camp nears end

With the fourth edition of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) final selection camp now in full swing, the coaches have started taking notice of the talented youngsters at hand. Day three of the camp began with the players taking to the pitch at the Reliance Corporate Park in the morning for a light warm-up session followed by a few training drills. Technical Director Piet Hubers and Head Coach Marcus Vaessen kept a close eye on the prospects with the final selection results inching closer.

We caught up with Shiv Choudhary, one of the prospects, to chart his story and his time at the camp. The youngster from Uttar Pradesh initially fell in love with the game when he started kicking the ball around with his elder sibling and it didn’t take too much time for him to get noticed.

“About three or four years back, I started playing football with my big brother. Initially I just used to watch him play. But one day during the summer vacation when I went for practice, my coach told me to keep as my height was good,” Choudhary recalled. “In the beginning it was a bit difficult. I didn’t know what to do. Then my coach taught me slowly and I also got help from seniors from other academies. Then I found out about the trials in Delhi, attended it and got picked. Now I will perform well here.”

To unlock this performance, young Choudhary is blessed with quality coaches and management at the camp in Navi Mumbai. “My parents also want me to get selected here because everything here is nice. From the management to the facilities and also my academics, which my parents want. The coaches here are nice too. They have taught me plenty of tricks about how to do different things and told me to follow it all even if I don’t get selected. So, I am going to come here and work really hard and become a good goalkeeper.”

After the morning session, a theoretical session on the importance of playing as a team was conducted in the afternoon by the coaches. The day’s activities ended with the children back at the pitch for an evening session of drills and exercises, indulging in a few fun football games before its conclusion.

Day four started off on a similar track with a light warm-up in the early hours of the morning. The prospects then participated in drills which included assisting, passing and defending before heading back to Beverly Park.

Post the session, Delhi Dynamos youth academy coach Gurpratap Singh spoke to us on the difference that the RFYC programme has brought to the country. “When we talk about talent, at RFYC, technique is the top most priority. They are ready to work on it. This is the difference that RFYC has brought to the country and this is why the talent is improving here.”

The final session of the camp was conducted in the evening when the players participated in an 11v11 game at the Reliance Corporate Park. The day’s proceedings concluded with all the players and coaches receiving a certificate for their participation.

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