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Delhi Youth League - Season 2 concludes amidst great cheer

The second season of the Delhi Youth League that began on October 6, 2013 concluded on the weekend of April 19-20, 2014 with even the last day changing a few equations in the table.While the NGO Manthan foundation bagged the laurels in the U-8 and U-9 ...

The second season of the Delhi Youth League that began on October 6, 2013 concluded on the weekend of April 19-20, 2014 with even the last day changing a few equations in the table.

While the NGO Manthan foundation bagged the laurels in the U-8 and U-9 categories, it was the legendary footballer’s Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS) that bagged the winner’s cup in the U-11 and U-15 age groups.

It was a Gurgaon-based academy known as Excelsior that sprung a surprise in the last day to snatch the title away from Youth Football International who ended up third as they lost their game, while Excelsior came out on top in theirs. Another NGO team Indian Youth Soccer Association’s team lifted the title in the U-19 category to spread the awards pretty even.

BBFS and Youth Football International were two of the most consistent teams having atleast a team in each age group. While YFI could not get the glory in any of the age groups, but were consistently 2nd or 3rd in each age category while BBFS bagged two titles, while they were hovering around the 4th spot in the rest of the age groups.

The kids had as lot to cheer for even after the end of the season as the top three in the U8s were invited at the King’s Day ceremony at the Dutch Ambassador’s residence on April 24, while others were invited to a grand award winning ceremony which saw parents and kids cheering and smiling alike.

The King’s day saw Dutch Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Indian national team Chief Coach Wim Koeverman hand away the prizes to the kids.

Adidas too announced a partnership for the next season gifting away boots to the Most Valuable Players and Top Scorers in each age group.

The third season would begin in September 2014 and is expected to extend to the NCR and soon to other cities.

This is one of its kind youth league spanning eight months and has come in as a breath of fresh air for the kids of Delhi who do not enjoy a natural culture of the beautiful game. While the Delhi kids are rejuvenating, kids from other parts would be hoping to have a similar league in operation in their town and to just put a smile on their face- it soon will.

Delhi Youth League is the brainchild of Youth Football International Director Paul Schuttenbelt, who has the experience and expertise of setting up similar leagues in Vietnam and Ghana. The league has a mix of expats (20-30%) and Indian kids (60-70%) and teams come from NGOs (35%), Academies, Indian and International schools.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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