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After the traditional ribbon cutting and kicking off the football’s, the event was celebrated with the hosting of a Grassroots football festival for 120 Don Bosco youngsters...

AIFF Academies Technical Director Scott O’Donnell inaugurated the SCG Football Academy on the occasion of Sporting Clube de Goa commencing their 15th year, at Don Bosco ground, Panjim on Friday.

Rev. Fr. Ian Figueiredo, Provincial, Panjim Province also opened the renovated football ground on the 198th birth anniversary of Don Bosco.

After the traditional ribbon cutting and kicking off the football’s, the event was celebrated with the hosting of a Grassroots football festival for 120 Don Bosco youngsters in the U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 categories, who took part in various fun activities, which included a 4 v. 4 competition, penalty shoot-outs, dribbling and skill contests, ten-pin foot bowling, among other small sided games.

Besides the festival, the parents and dignitaries were kept very entertained by the lively International dancers performing the Sporting Clube de Goa theme song “Flaming Oranje”. The African acrobats carried out an exciting routine to enthrall the crowds, but the day belonged to the Flaming Oranje mascot “Zumba” who kept everyone smiling, including the Sporting Goa senior team who had gathered to meet and greet the young wards.

During the school recess breaks, the students of Don Bosco poured out of their classrooms to get a first hand glimpse of the lucky students who got to play on the lush turf.

The uncompromising weather did not even deter the participants, as it went from hot sun to wet monsoon rain. The wards stayed hydrated with the numerous drink stations positioned around the ground.

A special penalty shoot-out was held between the grown-ups which included members of the GFA, GFDC and Sporting Clube de Goa members. SAFF Secretary Alberto Colaco and Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz were introduced to the players, before the U-16 final.

After the anniversary cake was cut, the prizes were handed out and the guests were presented with exclusive bespoke gifts to commemorate the historic function. It was now time for the players who had worked up an appetite along with the guests and dignitaries to have lunch.

After the feast, most of the players were tired and were taken home by their parents, but the really hungry players were back on the neighboring ground honing their skills further, as they now know that there is a great platform right on their doorstep to help them realize their dream of becoming a professional footballer.

Sporting Clube de Goa President Peter Vaz thanked all those present and made a special mention of the media for doing a great job in promoting youth football in the state.

“I feel truly blessed to have been able to complete my dream project. In order to excel, young players need access to quality coaching, quality infrastructure and quality competition. This is what I had in mind for my former school when designing the Academy structure,” added Peter Vaz.

“When the Indian national coach Wim Koervermans told me about the work being carried out at Don Bosco, Panjim I was pleased.  After seeing the ground in person, it is beyond my expectations,” summed up the Aiff academies technical director, Scott O’Donell.

 

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