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Premier Skills launched

February 04, 2008 22:49 IST

Warren Barton and Robbie Earle, two former Premier League stars, were in New Delhi on Monday to launch the League's innovative coaching development project Premier Skills.

The project, run in conjunction with the British Council, will work with a number of young people to enhance their football coaching skills and develop their English language ability.

Premier Skills is one of the League's first international development football projects, having launched last season in Egypt, where two projects now exist in Cairo and Alexandria.

After the week-long course in Delhi, Premier Skills will also launch in Kolkata in March. Premier Skills in India will be run in conjunction with ESPN STAR Sports, the Premier League's television rights holder, and the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF).

Barton, who played nearly 400 games for Wimbledon, Newcastle United and Derby County and former Wimbledon and Jamaica international midfielder Earle, both have UEFA coaching qualifications and will lead a series of football coaching and skills sessions for the 40 local youth leaders. These will help them develop so they can continue to run football schemes to benefit their own communities for years to come.

In addition to the coaching sessions, the British Council will deliver intensive English language courses.

"At home the Premier League and our clubs have a long-held commitment and reputation for investing in community and education programmes and given our popularity and success internationally we felt it only right to take this approach to a wider community," Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore said.

Premier Skills uses a number of innovative training tools to help aid participants' development. These include the Skill Factor interactive training CD-Rom, which was designed by Dutch coach Michel Mommertz, who will be in Delhi himself to oversee a session on how to use Skill Factor.

The CD-Rom breaks down how a player can complete a certain football technique by allowing the user to zoom in and out and watch a skill from different angles and in slow motion.

The course will also use a DVD of interviews with a number of the Premier League's top foreign players as an educational resource. The likes of Didier Drogba, Dirk Kuyt and Petr Cech are interviewed about their experience of living in the UK, adapting to a different culture and learning the English language.