The ambitious Grassroots Development Programme planned by the Indian Super League (ISL) in association with All India Football Federation (AIFF) for long-term benefit of the country's soccer began here today. Eight Development Managers and 18 Development Officers, selected by the franchise clubs under ISL, started a three-day workshop at Bidhan Nagar Municipality Sports Complex.
As part of the workshop, the development managers and officers got themselves involved in coaching 30 under-six cadets of Bidhan Nagar Football Academy under the supervision of Scott O'Donnell, Technical Director, AIFF Academies, and Director Coach Education at AIFF and Piet Hubers, UEFA member of grassroots working group and UEFA grassroot panel.
Before the practical session, the Development Managers and Officers also underwent theoretical lessons.
For the next two days they would be involved with under-8 years and under-12 years academy cadets. Talking to media persons after the coaching session, O'Donnel said these officers who are being taught now would coach the grassroot level students in the schools of their region. "This, I am sure, would benefit the Indian soccer in a long term way besides raising the standard of Indian football," he said. Speaking on the occasion, ISL spokesman Leela Dhar said ISL's plan was to reach to one million school children through this programme to be undertaken by different franchises of ISL. The ISL will begin on October 12.