U Dream Football announces tie-up with Borussia Dortmund

Forty eight players, who're 12-14 years old, chosen by Tata Trusts U Dream Football, will train with German club Borussia Dortmund for six years.

R. Venkatramanan (left), Managing Trustee, Tata Trusts, Ronnie Screwvala, Founder, U Sports (centre) and Christian Diercks, Lead-Youth Programmes, BVB Dortmund exchange pennants.   -  Special Arrangement

Tata Trusts U Dream Football unveiled its international training programme with German club Borussia Dortmund here on Thursday.

U Dream Football, which is part of U Sports (promoted by entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala), has chosen 48 players, in the 12-14 age group, for the six-year programme.

U Dream sent 15 players in August 2015 to Germany, out of which two have dropped out because of injury. Last December it sent 35 players and presently 48 are training in Bitburg, Germany. Majority of them are from Mizoram, Manipur and other Eastern and North-Eastern states. The ultimate objective of the programme is to develop young players, help them gain knowledge and to play professional football in Europe.

For each of the next six years,
the 48 players will be trained by Dortmund’s youth coaches, will use the Club’s facilities and watch the Club play from the Yellow Wall, the biggest grandstand in Europe with a capacity of 25,000. In addition to football training, the players will be enrolled in Germany’s international schools.

"The plan is to send 200 young players. Each of the Bundesliga Clubs have over 300 players in their development programme. Initially, 15 people bought that dream; it’s been an extremely life-changing experience for all of them," said Screwvala, founder, U Sports.

"The programme is all about learning and training there in partnerships with schools there. Tata Trusts have been supportive of this programme and if you look at their legacy, the Tata Trusts and Tata Group have been supporting sports for over 100 years."

"Borussia Dortmund is a 107-year-old club and it has an incredible legacy of winning matches and tournaments. The partnership is all about their full commitment towards the entire baseline of starting and building football from ground upwards," he said.

"When we talk about football,
we always tend to talk about our professional team. But for us as a club, it’s important to talk about the future of football and youth development is a long-term process," said Christian Diercks, Lead-Youth Porgrammes, Dortmund-BVB.

"When somebody approaches with some ideas regarding cooperation, we tend to be rather sceptical in the beginning, because for us, it is a sensitive area to work with kids and teenagers. We somehow wanted to change their (U Dream Football players) future.’’

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