The convocation ceremony for the 13th batch of the Tata Football Academy (TFA) took place on Thursday at the Michael John Auditorium at Jamshedpur. 19 cadets from 7 States celebrated their graduation from the academy after a four-year residential training course designed to develop their potential to the fullest.
T.V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel graced the occasion as Chief Guest; while Professor Nazm Ansari, President, Jharkhand Football Association participated as Guest of Honour.
The graduating cadets have represented the country in age group tournaments and five have represented the Jharkhand State team. The batch has achieved the following in last four years, by winning the 2016 IFA Shield, the Tata Utkalika Football Tournament, the 2016 JSA League and finishing runners-up of the U-18 I-League in Kolkata.
16 Cadets will now be playing for the Jamshedpur FC Reserve side, while 1 player would join the main JFC team and 2 others would be playing for other professional teams.
Mr Narendran handed over the passing out certificates and mementoes to the cadets in the presence of other senior dignitaries from Tata Steel and TFA.
Speaking on the occasion Mr Narendran said, “In Tata Steel, Sports has been a way of life. Congratulations to all. To me, it is not about playing football, but playing it well. You are ambassadors of Tata Football Academy (TFA).”
He also said; “This year, we have launched the Jamshedpur Football Club and received great support from the community. There is a lot of talent over here, we just need to provide opportunities.”
Mr Ansari said, “We are very proud of having TFA in the State of Jharkhand and we will not leave any stone unturned in providing our support. Let us fly high.”
While addressing the gathering Sunil Bhaskaran, Chairman, Board of Management, Tata Football Academy and Vice-President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel said, “We will nurture football talent and aim to create superb professionals for Indian Football.”
Addressing the cadets Udanta Singh, Ex-TFA player who is currently associated with Bengaluru FC said, “Your career starts now. Play well.”
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has recognized TFA’s contribution and honored with an award for “Continuous Contributions to Indian Football”, which is a first of its kind recognition to any institution by the AIFF.
The basic objective of Tata Football Academy (TFA) is to provide the mainstream of national football with a perennial pool of young footballers trained and oriented to international standards. Budding talent is scouted for all over the country in the age group of 14 years, trained for four years and fed to the mainstream after graduation and at the expiry of a conditional contract, to seek a career in professional football.
The Academy is geared to molding tomorrow’s winners – a dynamic new breed of footballers – dedicated to performing at international levels of excellence, who embody within themselves the promise of success.
The Tata Football Academy was inaugurated in 1987. A total of 213 cadets have graduated from TFA till date out of which 141 cadets have represented the country. 24 cadets have captained Indian football teams in various age group tournaments.
The senior graduating cadets include Yendrembam Naresh Singh, Thiyam Shrivash Singh (both from Manipur), Mobashir Rahman, Baset Hansda (both from Jharkhand), Billu Teli, Subham Ghosh, Swarup Das, Harsha Parui, Mohammed Firoz Khan, Rakesh Yadav, Vishal Das, Srinjoy Dutta, Rafique Ali Sardar (all from West Bengal), Parveen, Vijay Kumar (both from Haryana), Karandeep Singh, Lara Sharma (both from Punjab), Ashish Pradhan (Sikkim) and Prakash Naik (Odisha).