Indian Football

India Football: Bhaichung Bhutia to launch new soccer academy on May 1

Arjun Singh Devgan
Bhaichung Bhutia is one of the most popular footballers in India
Bhaichung Bhutia is one of the most popular footballers in India / Prodip Guha/GettyImages

India footballing legend, Bhaichung Bhutia will launch a soccer academy-cum-coaching centre in Siliguri on May 1 with his club United Sikkim Football Club (USFC) and the Salugara Netrabindu Sangha, a football club based in northeastern part of Siliguri set to jointly run the coaching programme.

Bhutia aims of using Salugara Netrabindu Sangha's infrastructure to promote budding footballers and provide them exposure in national level soccer tournaments, while he will also be involved in monitoring the entire coaching process - and provide coaching and other technical support to players, who join the coaching centre.

“There is no dearth of competent footballers in north Bengal. But hardly a few of them can be found playing at the national level soccer events. Also, in the tournaments of different age groups, it is tough to find a player from this region. Our main objective is to provide them an appropriate platform and build up a strong base from grass root level through our coaching," the legendary striker said during the announcement on Monday.

“I am in touch with some educational institutions to conduct similar coaching programmes for promising footballers who are based in Bagdogra and Shivmandir, located in the northwestern outskirts of Siliguri. We have plans to develop a full-fledged residential football academy henceforth somewhere near Bagdogra for footballers who are based in tea estates or dwell in the surrounding areas of Siliguri," he added.

The 45-year-old has been heavily involved in the promotion of football in the country post his retirement and this is another initiative taken by the legend to provide quality infrastructure to youngsters who take up the sport.