GUWAHATI, Aug 29 – As per the guideline of FIFA and All India Football Federation (AIFF), it is mandatory to run academies by professional football teams along with their main team.
The leading soccer clubs all over the world have several teams including an academy. Teams like Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, etc., have their academies from where they produce players.
In India top clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Dempo, Churchill Brothers, etc., have their own academy and they nurture youngsters providing all the facilities. As per AIFF guideline, all the I-League teams should have academies so that new batches of footballers could be produced.
In Assam, Williamson Magor was running a football academy at Monabari Tea Estate in the 1990s. But the academies were closed in early 2000 for reasons best known to them.
After that, in true sense, Gauhati Town Club (GTC) had started a football academy three years back. They picked 40 youngsters and appointed a Brazilian coach to train the players. After three years, GTC officials have been left red faced as recently 15 players have left the academy and joined another academy in Goa run by a professional club there. The Brazilian coach, who also joined the Goa academy, allegedly took the players with him.
Now, the GTC officials are planning to appeal to the AIFF and Assam Football Association (AFA) to impose some guideline for the academy players so that they can’t leave their academy before completing atleast 5 to 7 years.
GTC officials believe if a batch of youngster in the age group of 10 to 12 years do not stay together for a longer period there will be no meaning of setting up an academy spending a hefty amount of money and energy.
As football is a team game, it is must for a player to practice with a particular team before becoming a professional. If a young player of a certain academy in the age group of about 14 to 17 years, leaves his academy getting some offer from another quarter, there is every possibility of spoiling his carrer. The particular player certainly will not be able to cope up with the new team and alone he can’t do much for the team.
GTC’s effort in setting up a football academy is laudable. But the problem they are facing is becoming a matter of concern. Now in Assam, the GTC Football Academy is one of a kind which can be compared with Tata Football Academy. Some enthusiastic sports lovers at Gargaon, in Sivasagar is also running an academy.
The GTC officials feel, to build players in the academy, there must be some guidelines for the players so that they can’t leave the academy before a certain period.