The five AIFF Academy boys are Anirudh Thapa, Prosenjit Chakraborty, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Baoringdao Bodo and Bedashwor Singh.
All of them are presently training at French Club FC Metz. The boys who were scouted by AIFF in 2012 have been part of the triumphant Indian U-16 squad in the SAFF Championship in 2013, AFC U-16 Qualifiers (in Kuwait in 2013), the U-19 squad in the SAFF Championship and many other International exposure Tours which were all organised by the AIFF.
Besides, they also played a stellar role in AIFF Elite Academy retaining the U-19 I-League earlier in 2016. AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said priority was to ensure a "smooth transition" for the boys after graduating out of the AIFF Elite Academy.
"Very often many a talent is lost in the transition phase. In an effort to arrest the slump, we were looking out for a Club who has a vision of stressing on nurturing Youth Players. Hence, we are pleased to help the boys move to Chennaiyin FC's youth setup," Das stated.
"I would like to congratulate Chennaiyin FC for taking this visionary step for Youth and Player Development and I hope other Clubs follow suit," he added.
Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said: "We at Chennaiyin FC are committed to develop the very best young Football talent of India and hence, we are delighted to sign these five very talented boys from the AIFF Elite Academy. We look forward to grooming them both on and off the field and help them develop into top professionals."
Chennaiyin FC are presently paying for all expenses for the five AIFF Academy graduates during their training stint in FC Metz.