Mohun Bagan sets up football academy

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Football club Mohun Bagan has set up a football training academy in West Bengal.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Football club Mohun Bagan has set up a football training academy in West Bengal. Set up on the lines of the TATA Football Academy, the Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy is the first such academy set up by an Indian club. "This is the first time this is happening and our dream is that these players will be the pride of football clubs and will also play international football one day," said Anjan Mitra, secretary of the club. The premises have been provided by the Durgapur Steel Plant and the academy currently has 31 young boys between 14 and 19 selected from around the state. A complete residential academy, it has the infrastructure to house up to 50 boys with rooms and training facilities. Veteran Mohun Bagan players have been roped in to provide technical expertise. "What we lack here in the country is proper training. This academy will at least make the boys focus on professional football," said Shyam Thapa, Technical Director. Grooming Team India With Indian football clubs now depending on foreign professional players to do the job, young football buffs see themselves changing all that. Their dream is to don the Indian colours and play in the football World Cup in 2014. "My dream is to play for the big clubs and represent India," said Sajal Das, a football player. "Football is my life and one day I hope to play for the country," another footballer, Suman Chakraborty, said. Members of Mohun Bagan are one of the best known faces of Indian club football. And after having been associated with the game for so many years, the club is now out to produce top class footballers, who they hope, will not only become assets to football clubs, but will also do India proud at the international level.