AIFF`s first regional academy kicks off in Navi Mumbai

Updated: May 01, 2012, 22:22 PM IST

Mumbai: The first AIFF Regional Academy, in collaboration with FIFA, kicked off on Tuesday at the Father Agnel School premises in Navi Mumbai near here.

Twenty U-15 boys including two goalkeepers will be a part of the academy at the school premises.

Scott O`Donell, Technical Director, AIFF Regional and Elite Academies, conducted the first training session which was more of "fun than intensive training".

"It`s imperative that the boys settle down. Hence, we will stress on fun sessions for the first few days. Form thereon, we move into intense training," Scott stressed.

Colm Toal, head coach Youth Development and national team coach Savio Medeira were also part of the first training session.

"The academies would provide the national coach more options when he sits down to choose the Indian squad in the future," Toal maintained.

"This was long due," Savio commented.

"All India Football Federation`s effort is laudable indeed."

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said: "The future of Indian football lies in the youth. This is AIFF`s first regional academy and we stay committed to open more regional academies."

"The entire focus stays on creating world class players for the future," he added.

Father Saturnino Almeida, managing director of Father Agnel Schools, who has been running from pillar to post to get everything in perfect shape, said, "The academy is all about the future."

"This is a fantastic opportunity where two social institutions of India come together to serve the future of the country in academies and football," he explained.

PTI