Pune, March 16: After the success of FC Pune City's inaugural grassroots development programmes in 2015 the club has kick-started the 2016 edition with the first of many talent scouting festivals, workshops, train the trainer programs and addition of more junior squads.
Living up to their promise of growing football in a structured manner, the Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Hrithik Roshan co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) team Pune City have created a comprehensive football grassroots development plan to build a strong football framwork within the Pune region.
"We need to align and integrate all the raw talent and nurture them which in turn will catapult Pune City into a new bastion of Indian football. Ours is a young city and no doubt with huge talent potential, need of the hour is to provide opportunities through high-level training and development programmes. To begin with, we are initiating two programmes; first being a coaching workshop for school kids and then followed by a talent scouting programme," explained Pune City's CEO Gaurav Modwel.
Pune City will be imparting the quality training programmes with their Head of Grassroots Development - José Hevia (UEFA pro-coach) and First Team Assistant Coach Steve Charles by reaching out to schools across the city in the form of workshops.
There will be two types of workshops; first being basic level training for kids aged between 8-15 years (girls/ boys) second being the elite level training session with the school football teams. The schools in return have to involve their PE teacher/football coach to be a part of the workshop, give access to the ground for conducting a 1-hour session with each batch.
That's not all, to develop the entire eco-system, they are also conducting a Train the Trainer programme where all the PE teachers from participating schools will come under one roof for a one day coaching course including theory and practical sessions as well. The train the trainer program will eventually lead into a robust coach certification program that is development and executed by the club.
The talent scouting programs will be conducted on 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th of March followed by the Indian Super League led Reliance Young Champs festival on 2nd April.
Participating girls and boys will be scouted at the same platform. The club aims at creating talent pools in the form of Under-10, 12 and 14 age groups for boys and girls. Infact the club has already been training two junior teams in the U-12 and U-14 age groups for the last 9 months at St. Vincent's High school that is FC Pune City's development centre.
To go a step further, the club will be registering an U-15 team who will participate in the AIFF backed Under - 15 I-League. If one thought all energies were focused only on the Deccan City, Pune City is also planning to expand these programmes in Kolhapur and take their famous Forces Of Football initiative there too.
Last year, the club organised such workshops across top 40 schools in Pune tapping close to 40,000 kids. Following up with seven scouting programmes for over 2500 talented kids. FC Pune City also conducted a one-day coaching workshop for all the Physical Education teachers and football coaches across the city with theory and practical session.