The main objective of the tie-up is to encourage the sport at the youth and grassroots level.
LaLiga giants Atletico de Madrid are back in India, but this time in the Steel City of Jamshedpur, in Jharkhand. The Los Colchoneros have announced their partnership with the highly-reputed Tata Football Academy, for the development and promotion of youth football.
According to the club’s CEO and President Miguel Angel Gil, “This partnership is to encourage football amongst the kids on the basis of Atletico de Madrid’s values and we want to give them opportunities to prove their talent. They also need the right kind of exposure.”
The Spanish giants first came into the fray in Indian football with the advent of the Indian Super League, in a somewhat similar partnership with ATK; then known as Atletico de Kolkata. In three years with Atletico, the West Bengal outfit won two titles and reached the competition playoffs in all three seasons.
Gil further quipped, “When we partnered with ATK, the club performed well in those three years and I believe that Indian football is good and this partnership will also reap its benefits.”
The main objective of the tie-up is to encourage the sport at the youth and grassroots level. As part of the tie-up, the Tata Football Academy will be renamed as the ‘Tata Atletico Football Academia.’
R Pavithra Kumar (Director, Program Design, Tata Trusts) stated, “This tie-up is really going to help Indian football and will enable our academy in producing world-class and professional players. Everything will be done in accordance with international standards.”
The partnership will also foresee a residential programme in Madrid, Spain, for talented Indian players in the age group of 12-14 years, which will be a long-term training programme. The youngsters will be coached in the academy with other local Spanish players.
The programme will begin on the basis of a 3-year time period which could be extended to 6-8 years. The entire programme could be beneficial for Jamshedpur FC too, who could take advantage of the situation and bring in youth players from the academy into their team for the ISL. This tie-up could also be seen as an excellent opportunity for the Los Indios, who could expand their fanbase in India as a whole.
A scouting team from the Madrid-based outfit have already selected 10 boys from India for the programme. The kids were selected from thousands of other players.
According to a Tata spokesperson, their main aim is to take this collaboration on a long-term basis for years to come. He also noted that, Tata Football Academy will soon reap the benefits of Atletico’s technical support, which will strengthen the youth system and take it to the next level.