NURTURING STARS: Project to tap talented footballers
KUALA LUMPUR: A GROUP of 11 boys will undergo a month-long special football training session with top English Premier League clubs in November.
This includes the opportunity to train with Manchester United and Manchester City football clubs along with young English players.
The Road To England project is aimed at producing skilful Indian boys in football where they can eventually contribute towards the standard of football in the country.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said the project was a collaborative effort between Peter Barnes Football Academy and the Malaysian Tamil School Headmasters Council.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had approved RM530,000 for the football tournament among Tamil schools in the country.
Palanivel, who is MIC president, said the 11 talented and skilful players from the tournament, would be chosen from among Year Six pupils from 523 Tamil schools in 11 venues.
The final training and selection will be done by English football legend Peter Barnes next month.
"Through this programme, we hope to train more talented players and we hope it will be carried out annually," he said after presenting a RM530,000 cheque to the Ken Barnes Football Club at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
Also present was the club's director Karen Barnes.
Coach Marimuthu Pillay said the selection would be based on six main criteria -- speed, thinking, techniques, vision, skills and physique.
"From this tour, 25 pupils will be shortlisted and they will undergo centralised training in Perlis and based on their performance 11 will be selected. They will also play against local clubs."