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13-year-old Indian prodigy joins Dutch club NEC Nijmegen

Sumedh Pande
Modified 19 Dec 2019, 10:44 IST

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Kshitij Kumar Singh (left) with Nita Ambani

What's the story? 

In an exciting news for Indian football fans, a 13-year-old footballer named Kshitij Kumar Singh has joined Dutch club, NEC Nijmegen. Singh will join the club's U-15 squad soon. The young prodigy is a product of Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC).

Kumar comes from the second year batch of the RFYC. Kshitij began playing in the Bhaichung Bhutia Academy from the age of six and then joined FCB Escola before moving to the Reliance Foundation. 

Nita Ambani, Founder Chairperson of the RFYC was naturally ecstatic with the progression made by the 13-year-old Kshitij. She said, "Children like Kshitij Kumar are the future of Indian football. He is dedicated and disciplined at this young age which makes him a force to reckon with on the ground. We are sure he will pave a way for more scouting from foreign countries in India as well as increase the belief among players here to play in the best leagues in the world.”

In case you didn't know...

The prodigal forward took part in a Delhi Dynamos Scouting Festival last season where he was spotted by Piet Hubers, Technical Director of ISL Grassroots. Hubers enrolled the 13-year-old with RFYC where he was playing since last June. Singh made 29 appearances in competitive and friendly games for RFYC and scored 31 goals along while producing 25 assists. 

The heart of the matter 

Singh did two rounds of trials for clubs such as PSV Eindhoven and NEC Nijmegen before the latter selected him for their youth team. The 13-year-old is a product of Reliance's grassroots initiative which finds talented children in the age group of 11 to 14.

Kshitij Kumar Singh was elated to join the Dutch side and thanked all his coaches and staff at RFYC. 

What next? 

Kshitij has huge plans for his future and hopes to play for the Indian national team. He is expected to fly to Netherlands by the end of this month and join his new teammates at Nijmegen. 

Author's take 

This is a big step in the development of Indian football with Kshitij's case set to provide inspiration to millions of budding footballers in the country. Kshitij's move to Europe will open the floodgates for many kids of his age to take up the sport.

Published 13 Aug 2017, 18:29 IST
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