Odisha FC have inked a three-year historic international club partnership deal with Watford FC. The association with Watford FC will be mutually beneficial for both Odisha and the English Premier League (EPL) club. It will cover different footballing and non-footballing aspects.
The partnership will play an important role in the development of the footballing eco-system in Odisha. Coaches from Watford will help Odisha FC set up youth systems. The players from Odisha FC's elite youth team will get an opportunity to train with Watford's first team and/or the academy team.
Watford FC and Odisha FC will support each other in their respective youth systems including scouting and training of young footballers. Along with that, they will collaborate and promote different grassroots programs as well.
The clubs will also work together to develop women's football in the state and across India and friendly matches will be organized between their women's teams.
Odisha FC to train at Watford FC base
The partnership deal will also help Odisha FC explore the opportunity to travel and train at Watford FC as part of pre-season training. The Indian Super League (ISL) club will also play friendly matches in England.
Both Odisha FC and Watford FC will cooperate with each other in the selection of players and the appointment of coaching and support staff. They will also help in improving tactical and technical aspects of the game among others for the respective first teams.
The football clubs will also share ideas in terms of marketing and social media visibility. It will help in popularizing the sport and enhancing the fanbase in the region. Explaining more about the partnership, Odisha FC's Club President Raj Athwal said:
"We are excited and proud to announce our unique partnership with English Premier League club Watford FC. With both clubs looking to grow their brands globally, the partnership provides a unique platform to not only share best practices in all areas of our club but enhance the development of future players."
"We are excited at the prospect of working with Watford FC’s coaches with a view to establishing a residential academy in Odisha, providing a conveyor belt of footballers who will one day proudly adorn the club colors and, as part of their development, have the opportunity to train at Watford’s esteemed academy too.”
Watford FC’s Commercial Director Mr. Paul O’Brien said:
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“This is something really quite different and we'd love to get involved in new things that provide really different experiences for the club and our staff. Partnering with Odisha FC gives us a chance to get a real insight into football’s global appeal and affords us a great chance to share learnings with a similarly ambitious club.”