Chennaiyin FC signs five AIFF Academy cadets

Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh - all of whom who are presently training at French Club FC Metz - have been signed by Chennaiyin FC on a long-term deal.

AIFF Elite Academy graduates (L-R) Jerry, Prosenjit, Bedashwor, Bodo and Anirudh have signed contracts with ISL Champion Chennaiyin FC.   -  AIFF

The All India Football Federation has facilitated the signing of five AIFF Elite Academy boys with Indian Super League Champion Chennaiyin FC.

The five AIFF Academy boys – Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh - all of whom who are presently training at French Club FC Metz have been signed by the Champion on a long-term deal.

The boys who were scouted by AIFF in 2012 have been part of the triumphant Indian U-16 squad in the U-16 SAFF Championship in 2013, Indian U-16 squad in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers (in Kuwait in 2013), the Indian U-16 squad in the ACT 2013, Indian U-19 squad in the SAFF U-19 Championship and many other international exposure tours organised by the AIFF.

Besides, they also played a stellar role in AIFF Elite Academy retaining the U-19 I-League earlier in 2016.

AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said the priority was to ensure a “smooth transition” for the boys after graduating out of the AIFF Elite Academy.

“Very often many a talent is lost in the transition phase. In an effort to arrest the slump, we were looking out for a club who has a vision of stressing on nurturing youth players. Hence, we are pleased to help the boys move to Chennaiyin FC's youth setup,” Mr. Das stated. “I would like to congratulate Chennaiyin FC for taking this visionary step for youth player development and I hope other clubs follow suit.”

Chennaiyin FC co-owner Mrs Vita Dani said, “We at Chennaiyin FC are committed to develop the very best young football talent of India and hence, we are delighted to sign these five very talented boys from the AIFF Elite Academy. We look forward to grooming them both on and off the field and help them develop into top professionals.”

Chennaiyin FC CEO Mr. Rahul Patil added: “As a football club we have a big responsibility towards youth development and thus we are thankful to AIFF for accepting our long-term vision for these five boys. We will do everything to ensure they develop into top players for club and country.”

“Many of our previous academy graduates have had substantial playing time for the I-League and ISL and we look forward to the five boys to make a mark in their club and earn laurels for the country,” Mr. Das maintained.

Chennaiyin FC is presently paying for all expenses for the five AIFF Academy graduates during their training stint in FC Metz.

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