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Pune FC to train foreign youngsters at their academy

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Pune FC is going to build up its residential football school in Mamurdi, around 15 kilometers from Pune. But the plans the country’s premier football club has made before introducing its football school by the end of this year can be an example for the country’s other football academies.

Pune FC has planned to start its football school with under-15 to under-19 boys. But along with the Indian students, the club has planned to bring potential junior foreign players in its academy. In a bid to create its own foreign footballers for the club’s senior squad in the near future, Pune FC has already started negotiating with schools in a few African countries to rope in potential junior foreign footballers for its own academy.

While discussing on the issue, the club’s chief coach Ranjan Choudhury commented, “We are beginning with three junior foreign footballers initially. Two under-15 players are joining our football school from a school in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, and the other junior footballer is coming from another school in Togo. They are scheduled to arrive in Pune in July.” This will be the first time an Indian club football academy had take the efforts to nurture junior foreign players. Pune FC is following the path of world’s renowned football schools like Barcelona, Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United.

According to the plans, Pune FC will make a similar agreement with the foreign players as it has made with its Indian students. There will a three-year agreement with an under-15 footballer. According to the agreement, the player, at the time of his release from the academy when he will be 19 years old, must have to appear for trials for the club’s senior squad. If that foreign player satisfies the coaching staff of the club’s senior team, then he will have to sign for Pune FC and represent the club for three seasons, even if he gets better, lucrative offers from any other Indian club during the period.

Ranjan Choudhury said, “The main purpose of this initiative is to reduce the club’s budget for the foreign players. Generally, a premier club participating in the I-league has to spend crores of rupees for a foreign footballer. And the standard of that foreign player is not always above average. So, if our academy can groom its own foreign footballers then it should benefit the club’s senior squad within a span of three years.”

The country’s premier club has also plans to spread its football school all around the country. A club executive informed that Pune FC is also going to launch its academy in Punjab, Kerala and Manipur soon.

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