Anantapur Sports Academy’s football program brings in new talent
The “Beautiful game” is the most watched and most followed sport in the world today. Football has become quite popular here in the district of Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, particularly within the Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) grass root Football programs, where kids as young as 8 years start playing football, while in school or with their senior peers.
A couple of years later, the same youth started coming out to play football regularly for their grass root Mandal clubs (set up with the support of RDT), training everyday with their teams as well as attending periodic camps held at RDT’s Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA). Being part of their local Mandal clubs, many of these youth get the opportunity to be part of ASA’s annual training camps conducted by Spanish Football Clubs FC Sant Vicente and Sant Cugat FC.
The latest selection camp for the boys from these Mandal clubs to live and train full time, at the ASA Football Academy was held over three days between 18th to 20th June 2015. The camp began with 21 boys, who had been shortlisted earlier out of 150 young footballers who had attended a 10-day annual football coaching camp organized by FC Sant Vicente, at the beginning of June 2015.
These selections are taking place at a time when the ASA Football Academy has just reopened after a summer break. The current batch of the academy consists of boys of ages ranging between 15 to 20 years. The 18 boys that have been selected after a grueling three-day camp will join the Academy to represent the U15 team. The youngest athlete selected is an 11-year-old boy by the name of Mahaboob Basha, who was picked on account of his playing prowess and game sense, despite his tender age.
While speaking to the ASA Football Academy Head Coach, Miquel Llado, it was learnt that “The plan is to create an improved pool of players by providing the selected athletes with better training, coaching, nutrition and education.”
The players can build their careers for another 8 years: Miquel Llado
He strongly emphasizes on the fact that these players will be periodically assessed, saying, “These boys have been selected mainly because they have been playing in the Anantapur league (setup and managed by RDT) for the last year, and they have been observed to be playing far better than most other boys in the district. However, the boys have to show promise, and if they do, they will get the opportunity to build their careers at the academy for probably another 8 years.”
Apart from their own training routine, the ASA Football Academy has also been working closely on a more technical training that has been developed with the assistance of FC Sant Cugat, who are due to run a coaching camp at the ASA between 22nd July and 2nd August 2015.
This will be the first major training camp that these selected 18 boys will be undergoing, along with the other boys who have been associated with the ASA from the earlier batches.
Being part of the ASA Football Academy, these 18 young boys have a golden opportunity to learn the art and craft of football and forge a better future for themselves. Players at the Academy are provided with opportunities not just to play professional football, but to also get a high school and college education and receive training to become coaches. It is their responsibility to grab these opportunities with both hands and make their home district of Anantapur proud.