Barely two years after the first All India Football Federation Regional Academy in Navi Mumbai was launched, the Governing Body’s ‘Project Academy’ is now going global.
Milan Basumatary and Bidyananda Singh, two cadets of AIFF’s Elite Academy based in Goa, are currently appearing for trials at PSV Eindhoven, even as their junior counterparts, the AIFF U-16 Kalyani Regional Academy boys stay busy in playing two International Tournaments in The Netherlands, besides playing a host of friendly matches, including one with PSV Eindhoven’s Academy Team.
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF stated it’s the “objective of the AIFF Academies to develop players both for domestic clubs as well as international clubs and academies.”
“We are extremely happy that Milan and Bidyananda have got this opportunity to showcase their talent in one of the best environments and we hope that some club or academy in The Netherlands get impressed with their talent and select them for further training,” he told AIFF Media.
All India Football Federation Technical Director Robert Baan felt the “trials will help the duo a lot.”
“They will train on top quality fields with top quality coaches and with the best players from this age group in The Netherlands. The tempo of the sessions will be very high and it will surely take some sessions before they will adapt. But after a few days of training, they will match with the local players it will give them a lot of confidence,” he told AIFF Media.
“We are also hoping that in time to come more players from our academies in Kalyani, Goa and Bangalore would get such opportunities to showcase their talent and be picked by top clubs, international academies and clubs for the youth teams,” Das added.
“We will be filming their sessions we will show it to the players who stayed back in Goa to show about the experience and how much more training and matches is needed to compete at the highest-level,” Baan informed.
Striker Milan Basumatary was instrumental in helping Assam win the Mir Iqbal U-15 National Championship 2012, finishing the tournament as top-scorer and Most Valuable Player. He clearly spearheads the attack for the AIFF Regional Academy and has evolved into a classic number 9, extremely deadly inside the penalty area with his quick burst of space and clinical finishing. Comfortable with either foot, he has the ability to take defenders head-on with his dribbling skills.
Manipur’s Bidyananda Singh has been part of the India youth national team setup since he was twelve, wearing the India colours for the first time during the 2009 AFC U-13 Festival and is currently one of the most crucial members of the AIFF Regional Academy, Navi Mumbai. He captained the team during AIFF Regional Academy’s triumph in the Chandigarh Youth Challenge Cup. A versatile player, he has been utilized in various positions in defence as well as midfield.
(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)