Indian residential football academy turns two

India's Mohun Bagan SAIL Football Academy celebrated its annual day today with the inauguration of a newly-constructed multigym, fitted with modern equipment, at the Academy complex. A website, was also launched. The Durgapur based academy was formed two years ago and is the only club-based residential football academy in the country.

The academy is the result of a joint collaboration between Mohun Bagan and the Steel Authority of India. Club secretary, Anjan Mitra, told The Statesman that the academy has erased initial doubts about its feasibility, and is marching towards its goal - Vision 2014 - to supply the Indian team with talented youngsters for the 2014 World Cup.

The academy has 39 trainees from Mizoram, Manipur, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other states. There are 12 players from Bengal in the academy.

Mr Mitra said that in order to provide foreign exposure for the academy trainees, talks were already on with Worwui Makudi, Thailand football secretary and vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation, about sending academy teams to Thailand for matches.