In a major boost for football in India, three U-19 players of All India Football Federation (AIFF) Academy have been selected for a training stint with French Club FC Metz. Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, and Jerry Lalrinzuala are the players selected to train with the Ligue 2 club.
FC Metz Director Denis Scheaffer, presented the boys in front of the media.he announcement about the trio’s selection came on Wednesday at the French Embassy in New Delhi, where AIFF President Praful Patel, Ambassador of France to India Mr. Francois Richier, AIFF’s General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das and
“FC Metz is one of the great Academies not only in France but in Europe and it is a dream of every aspiring Indian Player to rub shoulders with the best in the business. There are important baby steps in the right direction for the growth of Indian Football. The idea is to develop from a young stage.”
“This is only a beginning and I am sure that there will be many more initiatives such as these. We want young talent to be promoted,” the AIFF President added.
“We thank FC Metz for this initiative and after the 3 months, the kids will be reviewed. And I am sure that they will come out with flying colours in the review, and if they do, we will continue to support them,” Praful Patel was quoted as saying by www.aiff.com.
The training stint will initially be for a three-month period and the boys will be reviewed after every three months with a maximum training period of two years possible with the French club.
“The review will be if they are the right material to pursue their journey in France and we will decide for them that how long they will have to continue this journey. It could be 3 months or even 2 years. What we want to develop is young talent by putting them into top arenas and using them later for the National Teams,” Patel added.
FC Metz academy, FC Metz Centre de Formation, has produced a long list of international stars such as Robert Pires, Louis Saha, and Emmanuel Adebayor. Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, and Jerry Lalrinzuala have all been part of the Indian U-19 football team, and have been going through AIFF’s Development Programme since their U-14 days. Prosenjit Chakraborty and Jerry Lalrinzuala play as defenders for the Indian U-19 football team, while Anirudh Thapa usually plays as a midfielder.