FC Kerala to start residential football academy

The residential programme is open to children of all age categories from under-9 to under-18 for a payment of prescribed fees decided by the club.

The club, which was established in 2014, took part in the second division I league and in the Kerala Premier League last season.   -  FACEBOOK/FC KERALA

 

Thrissur-based professional football club FC Kerala is expanding its operations by starting a residential academy this year.

The club, which was established in 2014, took part in the second division I league and in the Kerala Premier League (KPL) last season. The decision to start a full fledged residential academy came after repeated requests from parents who wanted their children to pursue football seriously.

The residential programme is open to children of all age categories from under-9 to under-18 for a payment of prescribed fees decided by the club. FC Kerala will provide specialised football coaching, boarding and lodging to trainees. The trainees will be admitted to a nearby school of their choice or in open school.

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The trainees will have to bear the school fees while the club will take care of the tution fees and their personality development. "We are yet to finalise the strength of the academy. We have been getting enquires from all over the state and abroad. Our aim is to produce not just footballers but good citizens as well. We will looking at a holistic development of a player. Promising trainees from the academy will get a chance to represent our junior teams. We plan to start the academy once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and when the schools reopen,'' said an FC Kerala official.

"We are already sponsoring 30 talented footballers whose education and training is looked after by the club. We are looking to increase the number of sponsored players and good players from the academy will be added to this elite group," he added.

FC Kerala at present runs a soccer school where nearly 800 children between five and 20 years of age train under qualified coaches.  Coaching is given in three centres. Last season the club's   teams in the under-13, under-15 and under-18 categories took part in the AIFF Youth I league tournaments while the under-9, under-10 and under-11 teams took part in the  AIFF's baby league. Construction of an own ground with dressing room and  hostel facilities figure in the future expansion plan of the club.

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