Driving the idea of grassroots development home, Kolkata giants East Bengal will be holding selection trials at Munnar in the Idukki district of Kerala, as per their special initiative with the Tea Board of India.
According to reports, Santanu Guha Thakurta, an AFC 'B' coaching license holder and Susanta Das, East Bengal’s youth development manager are expected to conduct the trials, which will last for a day.
The Red and Gold, as part of their mission in the alliance with the Tea Board of India to improve the lives of tea workers, have already selected a group of 30 youngsters aged between 13 and 21 for their academy.
An optimistic Das said, “For the development of the game in the country, you have to start from the ground level. East Bengal has been a pioneer in the field. Three from our academy have been promoted to the first team last season itself,” to The New Indian Express.
Trials will be held in the North, North-east and the south regions with each region catering to four trial centres. A maximum of 30 budding footballers are expected to be chosen from each sub-region.
The list of candidates will then be shrivelled to 48 footballers, with a 16 footballers from each zone after a week-long camp at Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. The final 48 grads will then be offered an annual scholarship of Rs. 30000, which includes their educational as well as dietary requirements.
Thereafter, the final 16 who will be chosen after a strenuous training camp tournament, are expected to be inducted into the East Bengal youth academy.