Pune: I-League side Pune FC is all set to launch its football academy, to be named Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy, next month to start its youth development programme in a systematic way.
The academy, to be launched on July 18, will be headed by Pune FC head of Youth Development Ranjan Choudhary and 30 footballers from all over the country will form the first batch.
Of the 30 players, 25 were chosen through the grind of open trials involving 280 players conducted across the country over the past six months and shortlisted by Choudhary, who brings in his vast experience as head of Tata Football Academy, Jamshedpur.
The other five players were from the existing Pune FC under-19 team.
The two-year residential programme will have the trainees based at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Hostel, Balewadi and will travel to Pune FC ground at Mamurdi for training.
Speaking about PPFCA, Pune FC head of operations Chirag Tanna, said, "This programme was identified to fill the gap of scouting for talent at professional level and then grooming them, which was found to be time consuming."
"Pune FC is confident of full placement of the young footballers in the Division I and Division II of the I-League, given the 80 per cent placement they have had for the previous batch of the U-19 talents in 2010-2011."
Tanna said the club will continue its commitment to hone talent through its existing Under-17 and Under-15 programmes.
Choudhary said all PPFCA trainees would go through a strict evaluation system every six months.
"Modern football demands 10,000 hours of training by a player to materialise into the ultimate aim of playing as a professional," he said.