Mahindra Youth Football Challenge Inter-City leg in Bangalore from April 19 to 24, 2012

The best under-14 football players from the champion school teams of six cities will display their skills during the Inter-City Leg of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge 2011-2012, which will be played on the newly laid artificial turf of the Bangalore Football Stadium, Bangalore, under the aegis of the Bangalore District Football Association (BDFA), from April 19 to 24, 2012.

The foremost football playing school teams from the country’s most football-passionate cities (Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Kerala, Kolkata and Mumbai) will participate in this tournament that will decide the Champion School of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge. The six winning schools were identified through the Intra-City tournaments conducted in the six cities, involving the top schools from each city and touching a total of 250 schools.

Competition in the Inter-City Leg will be that much more intense, thanks to the special four-day coaching clinic, from April 15 to 18 that was conducted for the players from the six schools by coaches from Celtic Football Club. Academy coaches Mark Reid (Youth Academy Coach/Senior Football Development Officer), Jose Romero & Mark Tobin (Centre of Excellence coaches and Tom McKay (Development Centre Goalkeeping coach) were present at the four-day clinic to train the coaches and players of each of the six teams on individual skills, techniques and tactical aspects of the game.

The Mahindra Youth Football Challenge is the Mahindra Group’s commitment to promote football at the grassroots level. The company has partnered with Scottish football giants, Celtic Football Club, who will take on the responsibility of training and developing young talent identified through the initiative. Also, as part of the initiative Celtic Football Club will be giving replica T-shirts to members of all the teams participating in the tournament.

This was announced by Mufaddal Choonia (Deputy G M, Corporate Strategy, Mahindra Group), at a press conference held at the Bangalore District Football Association on Wednesday, April 18. Also present on the occasion was P N Sankaran of Procam International, promoters of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge, the four coaches from Celtic Football Club and officials from the Bangalore District Football Association.

India’s No. 1 FM station, 92.7 BIG FM is the official Radio Partner for MYFC.

Mufaddal Choonia, Deputy G M, Corporate Strategy, Mahindra Group, had this to say, “The Mahindra Youth Football Challenge has grown tremendously in the last two years to become the biggest U-14 football tournament in the country. We are humbled by the enthusiastic response the tournament has received from across the country. I wish the six city champion schools all the very best in the Inter-City Challenge of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge and urge them to strive hard to bring glory to their respective schools.”

“Celtic Football Club is honoured and pleased at this opportunity to coach the best under-14 footballing talent from six major cities. Our coaches will work hard to try and impart the maximum amount of football knowledge to the coaches and players of the six teams in the coaching clinic. We also hope to identify the best talent, who will get a chance to travel and train with Celtic Football Club,” said Peter Lawwell, Chief Executive of Celtic Football Club.

“It’s been a wonderful two-year journey for Procam International, who are indeed fortunate to be promoting a venture that involves the Mahindra Group and Celtic Football Club, both giants in their respective fields. What gives us even more pleasure is the fact that the ultimate beneficiaries of this venture are young football players. Procam International will continually strive to improve the experience of each under-14 player participating in this unique venture,” said P N Sankaran of Procam International.

The six schools that will participate in the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge are St. Aloysius High School, Bangalore; CRPF School, Delhi; St. Britto’s High School, Goa; MSP HSS, Kerala; Pandua S B S H S, Kolkata and Don Bosco High School, Mumbai.

In the Inter-City leg, the six champion school teams will play each other in a league format to determine the top two, who will then play the final on April 24, 2012 at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

Prizes galore: The Champion school will receive the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge Trophy and prize money of Rs 50,000, while the runner-up school will also receive a trophy and prize money of Rs 30,000. Besides this, the ‘Star Performer’ of each match will also receive a trophy, while there will be prizes for the ‘Best Goalkeeper’, ‘Best Midfielder’, ‘Best Striker’ and ‘Best Defender’ of the tournament.

All the six teams will be provided with NIKE football kits.

An opportunity to train with the best: Based of their performances in the Inter-City Challenge, 22 players will be selected for another intense four-day coaching clinic to be held from April 25 to 28, 2012 and conducted by the above mentioned coaches. From these 22 players, the best players will be picked to travel to Scotland and undergo a ten days training stint at the Celtic Football Club Academy. The names of these players will be announced at the conclusion of the final camp on April 28, 2012.

Bishal Harizan and Jayanta Mondal from Kolkata and Mani Maran R. from Bangalore, had emerged the best three footballers from the first season of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge. These three were picked after the Inter-City Challenge last year and got an opportunity to avail of a ten-day intensive coaching camp in Glasgow with the Celtic Football Club.

Bishal Harizan, Jayanta Mondal and Mani Maran spent fruitful days at Celtic FC, where they got an opportunity to watch a Scottish Premier League game at Celtic Park, involving Celtic FC and Motherwell FC and another at Ibrox Stadium featuring Celtic FC vs Glasgow Rangers. Their training there involved individual technique training, multiple sessions of Sports Science Testing, learning the right warm up techniques with the under-19 team, and daily coaching sessions with the Celtic Under-15 team. Bangalore’s Mani Maran was then

Selected to represent the Celtic FC Under-16 team to play against the Monash Football Club from Melbourne, Australia, capping a successful and satisfying experience for the three lads.

The second edition of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge was received extremely well by the top 250 schools from the six cities it travelled to. The tournament also reached out to many others, spreading the message that Mahindra is committed to the promotion of grass roots football in the country. Promoters Procam International will strive to evolve and improve the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge to provide a more fulfilling playing experience to each and every participant and the day will not be far when the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge will be the platform to identify the most talented under-14 football players in the country.

About The Mahindra Group

The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. Mahindra has a presence in the automotive industry, agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheelers.

A USD 14.4 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 144,000 people in over 100 countries.

In 2011, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world. Dun & Bradstreet also ranked Mahindra at No. 1 in the automobile sector in its list of India’s Top 500 Companies. In 2010, Mahindra featured in the Credit Suisse Great Brands of Tomorrow.

In 2011, Mahindra acquired a majority stake in Korea’s SsangYong Motor Company.