Youth Champions League | EPL-style football league for kids launched in Bengaluru

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© Youth Champions League Media

Youth Champions League | EPL-style football league for kids launched in Bengaluru

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Press Release

09/17/2016

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 Fitlight, a wireless sensor device controlled through an iPad which triggers the BTM through movements made by the players. Using a unique wireless-based software, players are put into a number of in- game scenarios testing their skill, accuracy, and endurance in a myriad of customised layouts.  First-touch, one touch passing, dribbling, corner kicks and shots on goals are just some of the areas players can be assessed.  Formulated on the latest technological advancements in football, it provides coaches and players accurate data on a player's speed, endurance, and accuracy.

Registration fee is Rs 250. All other expenses such as playing gear which includes jersey, shorts, knee-length socks and sippers will be provided by the League.

Those who wish to register can log on to www.ycleague.com

Report courtesy Youth Champions League

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