LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians Talent Hunt Enters Phase II

L-R_Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy,  Ray Curtis, Sachin Bajaj, Shirish Kulkarni, Michael Rice, Sukhvinder Singh

Mumbai: The Liverpool Football Club (LFC) International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians , launched in October 2013, in Loni, Pune, has successfully completed the first phase of its nationwide talent hunt. The hunt now enters its second phase with the Liverpool FC coaches turning their attention to Mumbai, Delhi and Pune.

The first phase that covered Aizawl, Shillong and Goa saw over 1500 keen footballers participate to get noticed by the Liverpool FC coaches to secure a berth in the finals. The trials are to be held on 10th – 11thand 25th – 26th April 2014 in Mumbai, on 19th – 20th April 2014 in Delhi and from 30th April to 4th May 2014 in Pune; the trials are expected to be jam packed in these cities as well, with the Academy being the first of its kind in India and a growing interest amongst youngsters to seek a career in football.

Aimed at short-listing players to form two groups of Under-17 (Born on or between 31st May 1998 and 1st June 1999) and Under-19 (Born on or between 31st May 1996 and 1st June 1997), LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians is now in the process of receiving applications for its regional talent scouting camps in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. Enthusiastic footballers can register online at www.lfc-dskacademy.co.in to participate in the trials. Registration will only be accepted online and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

This six city talent scouting will conclude in Pune with finalists from each regional round coming down to the city for the final round. The players who are unable to attend any of the previous regional scouting trips will also be encouraged to attend the final leg in Pune.

Interestingly, the Cricket Club of India (CCI) has shown keen interest in the Academy and its vision to develop local talent. The Academy will conduct a special scouting camp on the 10th and 11th April, 2014 for CCI members whose families may be interested in being part of this unique project. Going forward, the CCI will explore ways to tie up with the Academy to support its venture to professionally trainfootballers in India. A second scouting camp is scheduled in Mumbai which will be held at Cooperage on the 25th and 26th April, 2014.

Shirish Kulkarni, President LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians said, “The response from Aizawl, Shillong and Goa has been humbling. It has gotten us further excited about the project which was thrilling to start with. We are delighted that our venture has evoked interest not just in the football loving youth who want to pursue it professionally, but also in a respected body like the CCI; their experience in sports will be invaluable to us going forward”.

Talking about the association, Sachin Bajaj, Executive Committee Member & Vice Chairman-Other Sports Sub Committee, CCI said “The preamble of the Cricket Club of India is to promote Cricket and other sports throughout the country. Keeping the same in mind, we decided to join forces with LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians to promote the fastest growing sport in the country, football, amongst our members.

Liverpool FC is a big name in world football, and the Cricket Club of India is a major name in India. Both have come together to provide a wonderful opportunity, of making the LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians, available to our members”.

The scouting is the prelude to the first academic year – the six city talent hunt will conclude in Pune with finalists from each regional round coming down to the city for the final round of screening. Liverpool coaches, Ray Curtis and Michael William Rice will shortlist players that show the most promise; shortlisted candidates will then be invited to compete for a place in the Academy during the final selection to be held 1st June onwards, at the DSK International Campus in Pune. Interested candidates have to register online on www.lfc-dskacademy.co.in.

Commenting on the scouting camps held thus far, Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy, CEO, LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians said “That there is football talent in India was never in doubt; which is why we partnered with Liverpool FC to create a global standard Academy. What has justified our belief is the overwhelming response we have received in the first phase of our scouting camps. We have every reason to believe that Delhi, Mumbai and Pune will also see a similar turnout considering that this is an unbelievable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for youngsters that are seriously interested in football.