15-year old Dhruvmil Pandya from Mumbai made history by becoming a trendsetter when he was selected to train with the Crystal Palace FC Academy for a year. He even represented the Crystal Palace Academy in a friendly match against Milwall FC.
Pandya was selected from among 350 teenagers who competed at one of the club’s initiatives named “Play for Palace”, an initiative which is part of a partnership between Crystal Palace and Hero Indian Super League (ISL) team Mumbai City FC which was agreed upon last year.
Pandya had also a short stint with the AIFF Regional Academies having earlier trained with the AIFF Regional Academy in Navi Mumbai and had also trained with the AIFF Regional Academy in Goa prior to proceeding to Crystal Palace for the trials.
It has been learnt that the South London club will pay for his education and training. As there isn’t a Residential Academy, Pandya will be staying in London with a family member.
The English Premier League is perhaps the most popular of all European Leagues in India and the development is being branded as the beginning of many other youngsters to follow.
Among others, two Indian senior players, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and winger Romeo Fernandes recently made their debut recently for Norwegian club Stabæk Fotball and Brazilian giants Clube Atlético Paranaense respectively.
Pandya was chosen the winner by a panel of judges which included former Palace striker Mark Bright and former England international Robbie Fowler.
(Report courtesy AIFF Media)