Italian giants AC Milan all set to start three academies in Kerala

Serie A giants AC Milan are all set to open three international academies in Kerala in collaboration with local company Calicut Sports City LLP.

A three-year agreement will see the Italian club open the first three academies in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam and subsequently they will open academies at Kasargod, Kannur and Trissur in the following seasons.

The academies will kick-start in April 2020 with AC Milan’s Claudio Zola coming down to India. He will train the local coaches, supervise the scheduling, carry out the daily training sessions and provide an appropriate analysis of the technical development in line with the club's high standards.

Speaking about the developments, AC Milan International Academies manager Alessandro Gianni said, “We are very happy to announce this partnership with Calicut Sports City LLP and to give continuity to the international development of the AC Milan Academy project. India is a highly strategic territory and we are proud to launch a project that, from the state of Kerala, will allow us to bring thousands of children into football with passion and competence thus promoting all those sporting values that have always been the basis of our club's initiatives.

“Our mission is to share AC Milan's technical and organisational know-how, focusing on the training of local coaches and managers so they can involve boys, girls and their families on a daily basis. Claudio Zola, AC Milan Academy official coach, will help to manage and to power the project that, starting from the cities of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam, is going to seize all the opportunities in terms of social and sporting results."

Calicut Sports City LLP president Milan Baiju was delighted to collaborate with the Serie A club top open academies in Kerala. He said, “I am extremely proud to be able to collaborate with one of the most iconic clubs in the world that boasts 120 years of history and tradition. AC Milan will now be an enduring point of reference in Kerala's territory, in India, and I am more than confident that the AC Milan Academy is going to improve the quality and professional level of all the children and coaches involved by responding to a specific demand of the area. I firmly believe that AC Milan's methodology, that has been developed over the years by highly qualified professionals, will be a milestone for the success of football in India.”

He further added, "The goal of the first year is to involve more than 600 children between 5 to 18 years old, who will have the opportunity to train and participate in all the activities offered by the Academy. The Calicut Arena in Kozhikode will be the headquarters of the entire project that is going to be broadened involving other sports facilities in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam to bring us closer to many families and provide high quality training to the children involved."