One of the aims of the Indian Super League over the years has been the promotion of young players. So it was no surprise when the Kerala Blasters announced a partnership with company Sporthood to nurture fledgling football in the state of Kerala.
Coined as the 'Young Blasters' program initially, it has now been renamed 'Young Blasters - Sporthood Academy'. Mohammed Rafik, the director of football for the Kerala Blasters went on to echo the sentiment and welcome the partnership between Sporthood and the Kerala Blasters.
“As a club, our core philosophy is to have a team that truly represents Kerala, one of the footballing hubs in Asia. Through this partnership, we hope to build on the footballing culture of Kerala, by widening our reach, setting standards, and providing children with a high-quality footballing education," said Mohammed Rafik, the director of football, Kerala Blasters FC.
"This will be a platform to showcase their talents and an opportunity to learn in a professional football environment. Hopefully, the coming years will see players from this program representing the club in the ISL," added Mohammed Rafik.
Youngsters in the Kerala Blasters FC ranks
In the context of the 2020-21 season, the Kerala Blasters have managed to add a few youngsters to their squad. The most recognizable of these names is that of 21-year-old winger Rahul KP.
The youngster was part of the India U-17 squad that participated in the 2017 edition of the U-17 World Cup and has now signed a contract that will keep him at the club till the end of 2024.
Naorem Mahesh Singh, Kenstar Kharshong, and Ayush Adhikari are among the few players who have been promoted to the first team after impressing with the fledgling side Kerala Blasters B. Goalkeeper Muheet Shabir has also been promoted to the side after impressing with the U-18 side.Published 17 Oct 2020, 18:18 IST