To be a successful sportsperson it is absolutely necessary to strike a balance between education on and off the field, says Ardeshir Jeejeebhoy, CEO, LFC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians in a chat with Patricia Mascarenhas.
Liverpool Football Club (LFC) International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians is visiting Mumbai to identify promising young football talent from the city to form the first batch of students to be trained at the academy.
While cricket is followed as religion in India, alternate sports like tennis, badminton are also seeing increasing levels of interest and success. However, most interesting of all is football, which is achieving real traction, with TV audiences tuning in greater numbers, their passion running high for their favoured international football clubs. There is no dearth of football talent in India, but what is missing is serious infrastructure of global standards, which provides professional coaching to those interested. There is global interest in the kind of market that India can be for football. On the whole with rising interest in the field of football in terms of investment in infrastructure like our academy, there is a definite trend of more and more people considering football as a serious career option. We hope to contribute significantly with our venture.
Our focus will be to develop outstanding players and good human beings. This holistic education will not only make them better players but responsible individuals. Apart from this, they will also be imparted with necessary skills like creating presentations and handling project work among others that will help them finish their course at the academy and handle their academics effectively.
This first edition of our multi-city scouting is aimed at short-listing the best players to form two groups of under-17 (born on or between May 31, 1998 and June 1, 1999) and under-19 (born on or between May 31, 1996 and June 1, 1997). The shortlisted players will be participating in final round which will be held in Pune after which those selected will be groomed at the academy. The goal is to place all graduating players onto a professional club. Some will go into the I-League or any other club they get entry to, we will also look to place talented players onto clubs abroad. But those players who do not make it as professionals, will be supported to secure positions within the football industry as coaches, administrators, etc, and also trained in allied fields like sports management and marketing.
Yes. Players need to have a holistic development so that they give equal focus to – football training on field, classroom education, assistance in finishing their academic education, foster inter personal skills and inculcate a sense of responsibility and humanity. All these aspects will help the students in not only becoming exceptional players but also responsible citizens.
We will focus not only on training on and off the field but will also encourage students to finish their education. To that effect, we will be providing tutors and assist the students to enroll and finish their education through online courses. Education and community work is the key to the development of young players at Liverpool and we will ensure similar standards and practices here at our academy.