NorthEast United launches residential youth academy

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will operate out of Shillong and offer the handpicked children the best in terms of training, education and competition throughout the year.

It is the first major step taken by the John Abraham-owned ISL side towards nurturing footballing talent across the eight states.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Indian Super League (ISL) NorthEast United FC today launched its own residential youth academy to tap football talent in the eight northeastern states of the country.

The Centre of Excellence (CoE), as it has been christened, will operate out of Shillong and offer the handpicked children the best in terms of training, education and competition throughout the year.

It is the first major step taken by the John Abraham-owned ISL side towards nurturing footballing talent across the eight states.

“This is a dream come true. When I bid for the team three years ago my first goal was to start a residential academy for the talented kids out there,” Abraham said.

“We will all do everything in our power to provide every talented child the opportunity to learn and eventually play for the NEUFC first team,” the Bollywood actor said.

“We have already charted a well-defined and competitive pathway for the fantastic talent pool of the North-East. We want to showcase all this on the biggest footballing stage in India,” Abraham added.

The ambitious plan fell into place after NEUFC joined hands with Shillong United FC, formerly known as Royal Wahingdoh FC, to develop the region into a footballing power centre.

“We are delighted to start this developmental project with NEUFC,” Dominic Tariang, owner of Shillong United and Partner-Youth Development, said.

The two clubs will pick the best students for the CoE and not only provide them training and education but also competition throughout the year.

The CoE will create teams in the Under-13, the Under-15 and Under-18 categories so that the NEUFC has an abundance of young talent to choose from in the near future, a release said.

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