Mumbai, September 22, 2015 (Akash Sharma): Mumbai City FC has teamed up with Navi Mumbai Area Schools Association (NMASA) to launch the first-ever Mumbai City FC - NMASA Grassroots Football League, to begin on September 22, 2015. The tournament will see over 150 teams from schools associated with the NMASA compete in the U-8, U-10, U-12 and U-14 age categories at the Fr. Agnel Sports Complex, Vashi.
The league will feature matches that make the children play in age specific formats, i.e. 5v5 for the U-8 age group, 7v7 for U-10 and so on, giving them a chance to play more and more matches. In the league phase, each team will play a minimum of seven matches, with the top teams from each group going on to play in the knockout stage. Over 700 matches will be played in total across all age categories. These are in accordance with the guidelines set by FIFA. The league offers teams a chance to play competitively and focus on the game and win the league trophy. All teams will receive a certificate of participation.
Commenting on the new initiative, Indranil Das Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC said, “At Mumbai City FC we take our football very seriously. We firmly believe this high level of competition is a stepping stone to bring the best out of the city’s youngsters. With an eye on the future, as we build the franchise at one level, we need to ensure that there is a strong feeder pipeline in place to take the legacy of Mumbai City FC forward.”
Speaking about the association, Fr. Almeida, President, NMASA said, “We are happy to announce the initiation of the Grassroots Football League and are glad to have partnered with Mumbai City FC. We believe that this is a great initiative by them. I strongly believe that making kids play in the age-specific format around which the league is structured will help them improve and will be better for the game in the long run.”
Apart from the Grassroots Development program that was undertaken, this is a valiant effort by the team to give exposure and training to budding footballers. Not only do the players benefit, but the coaches are trained are better equipped to guide the future of Indian football. The coaches trained in the Grassroots Development Program will get to practice their newly acquired skills and will be mentoring the teams playing in the league.