Pune, Oct 5: Liverpool FC International Academy and city-based football club DSK Shivajians on Wednesday announced the launch of their player development centre here.
The player development centre will be the first official coaching programme of English Premier League (EPL) club Liverpool FC in India, outside of the year-round residential programme in collaboration with DSK Shivajians.
The centre will be based out of HotFut Turf, Mundhwa, where the programme will run three times in a week in addition to experience days hosted once a month at the DSK Dream City fields.
Throughout the course of the programme, players shall get exposure to the official Liverpool FC International Academy curriculum. Over the years, this proven formula has produced football stars such as former England internationals Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
Also, it has guided the development of talented players in India at the Liverpool FC International Academy-DSK Shivajians residential program, a group that comprises of 9 international level players across various age groups including Lallianzuala Chhangte and Jerry Mawihmingthanga who have both scored goals with the senior Indian team and the Indian U-23 squad respectively.
The motive of the player development centre is to help kids aged 6 to 14 years learn to play "The Liverpool Way" with an aim to develop players into good human beings both on and off the pitch.
The player development centre will also play a vital role in improving the players' skills with a focus on developing the technical, tactical, physical, mental and social aspects of their game.
Furthermore, the centre will serve as the base of the DSK Shivajians FC player pathway pyramid providing talented youth footballers with the opportunity to graduate into the Liverpool FC International Academy-DSK Shivajians residential program.
Shirish Kulkarni, President of DSK Shivajians Football Club, expressed his delight on the launch of the player development centre.
"The success of the LFC-DSK Academy over the last two years along with the interest from the people of Pune has encouraged us to initiate the Player Development Centre in association with our technical partner Liverpool FC.
"I am confident that this project will help kids develop their football and life skills over the course of time," he was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Hopefully, we will also identify local talent in the process that can go on to represent DSK Shivajians FC in the future."
Experienced Englishman Chris Ochwat, an FA qualified coach from Liverpool FC, will head the player development centre. Ochwat, who has previously led international coaching projects for Liverpool FC, will work with his team of coaches to bring in the club's training methodology to the programme.
"This is a great opportunity for young players in Pune and its surrounding areas to be part of the Liverpool FC family, and begin their journey in the game.
"We have a fantastic programme ready for the participants which will provide a unique insight into how we coach our players at the LFC Academy. We're really looking forward to the start of this exciting project next month," Ochwat said.