PUNE: Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Pune City on Thursday announced plans to develop football at the grassroots level in a structured manner.
The club has framed a comprehensive plan to build a strong football framework within the Pune region. They have conducted grassroots programmes for two years.
The focus will also be on nurturing talent by providing them progression platforms from an early age.
Pune's approach to grassroots will be led by technical director Roger Lamesa. They will conduct various programmes under FC Pune City Grassroots banner.
In addition to having a full-time residential academy, they will also conduct multiple programmes. They presently have four junior teams -- U-18, U-16, U-14 and women -- which train throughout the year.
"We need to align and integrate all the raw talent and nurture them from a young age which in turn will catapult the city of Pune into the new hub of Indian football. It's a young city and there is definitely enough potential," FC Pune City's CEO Gaurav Modwel said in a release.
"The need of the hour is to provide a platform to the young players through high-level training and development programs. We are continuing with two of our flagship programmes; first being a coaching workshop for coaches, parents, PE teachers and footballers and then followed by a talent scouting and development program."
Pune will also be imparting training programmes with techincal director Roger Lamesa by reaching out to schools across the city. They will conduct "Train the Trainer" programmes where all the teachers from 40 schools across the city will be gathered for a one-day coaching course.
Pune's U-14 team will represent the club at various Pune District Football Association (PDFA) and All India Football Federation (AIFF) tournaments.
Starting this year, in lieu of the league's mandate, Pune will introduce youth leagues in the city. The youth league will be conducted in three different age groups -- U14, U-12 and U-9.
Last year, the franchise's efforts on grassroots initiatives went across 40 schools in Pune tapping close to 40,000 kids. This was followed up with seven scouting programmes for over 2,500 selected kids.