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Rediff.com  » Sports » Churchill and ex-Liverpool midfielder join hands to start academy

Churchill and ex-Liverpool midfielder join hands to start academy

February 05, 2011 22:10 IST

Goan heavyweights Churchill Brothers will set up a football academy at Cana Bednaulim near Panaji in association with former Liverpool midfielder-turned- commentator Steve McMohan.

The academy will have an Asian Football Confederation (AFC)-approved class 'A' stadium with 5,000-strong capacity.

The Goa Government has provided land on a 33-year lease for the institute.

Churchill, who have tied up with the Steve McMohan Football Academy (SMFA) for the project, plans to select 240 boys from all over the country in the age groups of under-8, 10, 12, 14 and 16, each consisting of 22 players.

The boys will have to stay at the academy, to be known as the Steve McMohan Churchill Brothers Football Academy, for a five-year period before moving on. They will be trained by coaches from the SMFA and their education will be looked after by the institute.

The boys will be given international exposure and play against age group teams in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

The Goa outfit also plans to organise a tournament, Churchill International Cup, once the academy is put in place.

Talking to media in Panaji on Saturday, McMahon said, "It will take one to two years to put an infrastructure in place for the academy."

"Boys from the U-8 group onwards will undergo training at the academy. Then only can India can harbour hopes of making an entry into the World Cup," he said.

"A football academy and building a World Cup team is not a one day job. It requires detailed planning and professional execution," McMohan.

"The academy must have good infrastructure and the coaches need to be trained first before they start training the boys," McMohan said.

He also praised the Churchill Brothers for running a successful football club for a long time now.      Churchill Alemao, the parton of the Goa club, said his dream is to see India play in the World Cup. "I will work hard to see my dream come true."

He said the Indian football team should constitute a separate pool of players who will play only for the country and not any club.

"Today everybody is spending on cricket. But football, which is more popular than cricket, needs more attention. Corporate houses in India should contribute to the growth of football," Alemao added.
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