THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Mumbai City FC manager Peter Reid to share experience with kids

Peter Reid and Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Peter Reid and Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Mumbai City FC head coach Peter Reid and attacking midfielder André Francisco Moritz along with a couple of other teammates will be watching kids in action during the 6th edition of the QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger 2014, at Mumbai’s Western Railway football ground, Lower Parel on Saturday morning at 11.00 IST.

The 58-year-old former England midfielder, Reid, who played for QPR in his career, and 28-year-old Brazilian Moritz, will interact with the children and share their vast knowledge and experience during their visit to the ground. This would be a huge confidence boost for the kids, who would certainly gain valuable tips and learn more about the finer points of the game, which they could use to become successful footballers.

The Mumbai City team, under the guidance of Reid, is currently in fourth position in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) with 12 points from three wins and three draws.

Reid, who enjoyed a long and successful football stint, represented his country at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and 1988 UEFA European Championship. Besides playing for Bolton Wanderers and Everton, Reid had a short stint at Queens Park Rangers in 1989, before he joined Manchester City to begin his managerial career the following year.

Moritz, who is the mainstay of the Mumbai City attack, has the distinction of having scored the first ever hattrick in the ISL during Mumbai City FC’s 5-0 win over FC Pune City at the D.Y. Patil Stadium last month.

The QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger, which has gained tremendous popularity and growth, is an initiative of Milind Deora and is India’s largest community football tournament. The event is conceived and managed by Saran Sports.

The Championship would also serve as a talent hunt for 40 talented youngsters, who will be shortlisted for a coaching clinic that will be conducted exclusively by the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) coaching teams from the United Kingdom in December.

This year, over 6000 children from over 134 schools representing 700 teams are participating in the tournament, which consists of competition for boys’ and girls’ teams in the Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 age categories.

The Championship is open to all South Mumbai schools including private schools; government aided and municipal schools which comprise 88% of the participants. The tournament will provide an equal and fair opportunity to kids from different backgrounds to showcase their talent and skills on a common platform.

The QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger is a great initiative in terms of sports promotion and development at the grassroots level amongst the children of the community. A very large majority of the participants are children from Municipal Schools and Government aided schools.

Sports is also an integral part of a child’s education and it is vital for the holistic development of young people fostering their physical, social and emotional health besides teaching values and life lessons that the participants can use during their teenage years and beyond.

Over the years all the above has been achieved by the QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger. This event has seen the energy of the participating children being channelized in the right direction.