Tata Trusts U Dream Football declared its technical partnership with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund on Thursday afternoon. The partnership with the German side will enhance the quality of the Tata Trusts U Dream Football training programme. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the partnership will give the young footballers enrolled in the programme, an opportunity to be trained by the Bundesliga side’s youth coaches, as also draw from the club’s world class training facilities.
The teams under Tata Trusts U Dream Football programme will train with Borussia Dortmund’s youth teams with an aim to plan competitive games against each other. This will play a key role in the development of the young talent. While the spirants are training to become top class footballers, they will also get their first taste of professional European football by watching The Black and Yellows play live.
In 2016, Tata Trusts and U Dream Football partnered to use football as a tool for social development in India. The efforts took root in the North East, the region that contributes nearly 50% footballers to both the men and women’s national teams. 35 of North East India’s best young players were selected and began their training programme in January 2017.
Now known as the Tata Trusts U Dream Football, the training programme is based in Bitburg, Germany, where the selected talents spend ten months of the year training under a team of ranked coaches. Each week, the U-15 and U-17 sides play competitive games against top-ranked youth sides in the region as well as those in Belgium and Luxembourg. This year, both teams combined have played 20 games, winning 15 and losing only three games.
Speaking at the event Ronnie Screwvala, Founder of U Sports said, “Today we reiterate our strong association with Borsussia Dortmund at the grassroot level but also about an overall commitment made by Tata Trusts and U Dream Football for basic football development in the country. We found an incredible partner in Tata Trusts which always thinks scale. U Dream appreciates their quick and unrelenting support to our aim of grooming children in football. Our two focus areas are to position sport as a great career option and make India one of the top 20 football-playing countries in the world.''
Christian Diercks, Lead-Youth Programmes, Dortmund BVB, remarked,“While the children are motivated to take up football, they are also extensively trained in the German schooling system, which gives them a chance to enhance their education and fulfill a realistic dream. There are also plans of bringing in Indian coaches to Dortmund, which is an intense football capital of the world and give them a chance to meet specialists in their field and exchange ideas on football training. I am happy to have this wonderful opportunity of supporting this endeavor in bringing about a long-term development of young kids.”
With 48 players currently enrolled in the programme, partnering with Borussia Dortmund will aid development of all those under the programme, as the club will provide constant support and directional guidance. As the players’ development progresses, Tata Trusts U Dream Football will provide footballers with opportunities for a trial with leading clubs across Europe.