Edukick has provided an unique platform to the young Indian footballers to train at the French club FC Metz, who have produced players like Robert Pires, Emanuel Adebayor, Louis Saha, etc in the past. Two Indian kids, Manaas Kalra and Shiv Jhangiani have already spent a year at the French club.
The managing director at Edukick, Eric Benny, spoke to Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview. On being asked how is Edukick’s initiative different from the others which have been taken in the past for youth developement, he said, “Firstly, this is not a soccer school. We provide opportunity to the youth to play in Europe. This is a unique project, where the selected Indian kids would be sent on a 1.5 years test period. They would stay there at the club.”
Mr. Benny further spoke about Edukick’s Philosophy, “Our goal is to create more opportunities for the youth to play football, nurture them, educate them and then bring them back. FC Metz is providing an unique opportunity for these kids, who can play with young players from, Holland, Luxembourg and Italy.”
The two Indian kids, Manaas Kalraa Shiv Jhangiani who joined FC Metz a year back are still progressing. We asked him about their current status, to which he replied, “Manas and Shiv have completed a year and will continue there for a second year. If they don’t do well, they will be sent back. There is a lot of competition. Kids from France, Ivory Coast, Senegal play alongside each other. Both the kids have already played matches against Luxembourg and China’s age group sides. So the exposure there is extremely good.”
When asked about his plans for the U17 World Cup, he said, “Eric Benny Sports Management group will scout 20 children and train them on a long term program. Their date of births should be 2001 onwards. We would replicate the model of FC Metz for fitness and other trainings. We would bring coaches from FC Metz and they will be accompanied by Indian physios, fitness trainers and masseurs. The selected children would then be sent to France for international exposure.
We are starting our program from NCR Delhi. Afterwards we will visit other cities too.”