Kolkata, Kerala schoolboys to train at Celtic FC

Mumbai: Two Kolkata schoolboys, along with another from Kerala, have been picked by talent hunters at the end of Mahindra Youth Football Challenge Inter-City tournament in Bangalore to undergo a 10-day training camp with Scottish football club Celtic in Glasgow in mid-August.

Mohamed Habib and Suman Dutta (both from Kolkata) and Lazim Ali (from Kerala) were selected on the basis of their performances in the tournament that ended on April 25 and involved the champion schools from six cities, followed by a four-day camp featuring the best 22 players.

Habib and Dutta are from Ashok Nagar Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban of Kolkata and Ali is from St Joseph`s HSS, Kerala, said P N Sankaran of Procam International, the promoters of the event.

Four coaches from Celtic FC -- Greig Robertson (International Academy Development Officer and Youth Academy Coach), Mark Tobin (Centre of Excellence coach), Tom McKay (Academy Goalkeeping coach) and Michael Mcilroy (Grassroots Coach) -- were involved in the selection process.

The selected trio would travel to Glasgow and stay and train at the Celtic FC Youth Academy, enjoying all the facilities available to junior players at the club.

"We are extremely happy today as we have identified the three boys who will be sent to Celtic FC in Scotland for further training. The response that Mahindra Youth Football Challenge has received in its three years of existence proves that we have achieved the objective we set ourselves at the start," said Mufaddal Choonia of the Mahindra Group.

"We have aimed to promote football at the grass roots level and provide a platform for Under-14 boys to showcase their skills and play the game in a competitive and high class environment," he added.

Celtic coach Robertson said that the tournament has provided a platform for young players from India to showcase their talent and, hopefully, earn a chance to further enhance their skills when they visit Glasgow in August.

"Celtic Football Club is very proud to be part of such a project," he added.