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AIFF Media Team


NEW DELHI: One of the main objectives of the revolutionary Baby Leagues, an initiative by the All India Football Federation to extend the horizons of grassroots and youth football, is to establish a culture of football in posterity.


“Identity is born from culture and we have identified a long comprehensive platform in the Baby Leagues to establish that”, said AIFF’s Head of Player Development Richard Hood. “Players need to experience a lot more football from an early age with a constant increment of quality hours in-game engagement.  This engagement can be direct involvement by playing formal and informal formats of the game, practising individually or in a team setting with or without guidance.


“In terms of indirect engagement, we consider watching the game, discussing it and dedicating a lot of intellectual and emotional energy towards the sport. All of these factors are important in enhancing the game understanding of individuals, teams and communities and are heavily influenced by the culture”, he added.


With the AIFF providing avenues for youth to play competitive football from a young age in the form of the U-13 and the U-15 I-League, chances for talent to develop exponentially has increased drastically.


“One of the major aims is to integrate the football season into the upbringing of the next generation of players where they grow up playing 40-50 games per year under good guidance and manage their social and academic life the same way as anyone else into their mid-teens”, explained Hood.


“Having a chance to grow and respond to a proper football season is what players overseas experience from ages of 5 and 6 all the way up to their professional debut”


“It is the constant exposure to a set of demands, expectations, standards of performance and conduct that shapes the end product and ensures no two players are the same. The way they play and behave makes it easy to identify the region or club they have come from”, he added.


Posted on : Thursday February 08, 2018