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Syed Sabir Pasha, technical director of the Chennaiyin FC grassroots programme, was confident that many of the budding talents present on Day 6 of the 2017 Reliance Foundation Young Champs Club Scouting Festival on Tuesday were more than capable of making it as professional footballers.
The festival began at 9 am at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai and had six local coaches along with Pasha, Piet Hubers, technical director of grassroots development as well as Mark Vaessen, head coach of the RFYC, scouting the talent on display.
Pasha spoke about the challenge the youngsters faced on Tuesday. “It was a great opportunity for the boys to show their talent in front of Piet Hubers and Mark. I think it’s a great challenge for the boys to come and show their talent and I hope that the coaches will also be happy with the talent which they saw in Chennai. I feel these boys will climb up the ladder and show us what they are.”
Pasha then expanded on Chennai’s proud record of unearthing talent for the RFYC in the past and what the programme offers once somebody makes the cut. “It’s a great programme, for example we can talk about G Balaji, the boy who is already a part of the programme [since its first year] and is doing great. It’s not only about him playing football but his overall development is also happening at that place and I think it’s great for the boys,” he said.
Pasha also offered encouragement to the participants who won’t make the RFYC final selection camp in May, urging them not to give up on their dream and keep playing football regardless of setbacks. “I think they’re all talented because we’ve scouted [them] from all over Tamil Nadu and to get into this group is something to be proud of. They have real talent, it’s unfortunate that they’re going to miss out at this point but I feel they have to continue playing football,” he said.
“We as Chennaiyin FC will also see that we keep following up on them. We put them in a separate programme and we see that they keep playing football for a long time” he added.
Day 7 of the Club Scouting Festival will take place in Goa with many exciting young gems waiting eagerly to impress the coaches in one of India’s biggest footballing hubs.