The Youth Champions League aims at providing a competitive platform for budding footballers in India.
With a zest to create a competitive platform for young football players at a nascent stage, the Youth Champions League will kick off in October and will be held at the world-class FSV Arena in Hennur. This will be a first-of-its-kind league in the country specifically focused on promoting football at the grassroots level.
The League will be held over the weekends and will feature 12 franchises bought by top corporates in the city and will include 540 players in the age group of U-12, U-10 and U-8 years. “From our own experience as parents, we have noticed that kids who want to take up football professionally, don’t have enough matches to play. In the school level, they get just about three matches a year and that’s not enough to nurture their talent,” explained 46-year-old Charles Hayward, director of YCL.
This is the first time a football league meant for children will be played on smaller pitches such as 30.5cm x 24m for U-8, 50m x 32m for U-10 and 64m x 50 m pitch for U-12 kids. This format allows children to enjoy lots of touches, shots and dribbles with the freedom to make decisions on the ﬁeld without the weight of performance expectations.
A league of this magnitude where every kid will get to play 22 matches in a season over a span of multiple months will be a great foundation, feels Rui Pedro Gregório, former center back and defensive midfielder for clubs Victoria FC and CF Os Belenenses. “Back in Portugal and specifically Lisbon where I come from, kids begin to play football at the age of five or six years. There is great infrastructure with over hundreds of pitches and kids play matches on weekends. They begin to learn technicalities of the sport only at about 10 or 12 years of age but by then they would have picked up the skill. I believe this league will give kids that kind of platform and I see a lot of potential in India for football,” says Gregório who was formerly associated with Arsenal Football Academy as their technical director based in Lisbon and also coached their U-19 team.
Gregório will be heading the Football Academy of Bangalore (FAB) at the FSV Arena where over 150 kids will be trained to play professional football.
The launch of YCL also involved the opening of their one-of-a-kind in Asia Goal Station which is considered as world’s ultimate training system designed to help players enhance their SMARTS™, Speed, Mobility, Awareness, Reflexes, Touch, and Strength.
The GST, a brainchild of Brian Sorensen, head coach of Danish women’s professional team, currently ranked no.5 in the world, comes with the most advanced Ball Training Machine (BTM) in the world and
Registration fee is Rs 250. All other expenses such as playing gear which includes jersey, shorts, knee-length socks and
Those who wish to register can log on to www.ycleague.com
Report courtesy Youth Champions League