‘Dream Chasers’ in association with Sunil Chhetri committed to nurture & promote young footballers


Sporting Clube de Portugal to provide highest 

standardsof coaching and technical support

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, February 17: In a far-reaching and significant development, the future prospects of young football talent in the country is set to receive a tremendous boost, thanks to DreamChasers, a unique annual pan-India football talent hunt being launched by Proforce, with a commitment to nurture and promote the selected footballers for a period of five years. DreamChasers, mentored by Indian Football captain Sunil Chhetri as the Brand Ambassador, will be associated with Europe’s top club, Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP), which will provide the coaching staff and will be responsible for providing the highest standards of international football coaching as well as technical support to 15 selected boys in the 8-14 years age group for a period of 5 years, this was announced at a Press Conference on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Chhetri, said, “The main reason of my association with DreamChasers is the commitment to support and nurture talented footballers for a period of 5 years. Young talent needs to be recognized and supported in their formative years and this is the difference between Dream Chasers and other talent hunts being conducted.” “I will closely monitor the progress of those selected and I am confident that the partnership with Sporting Clube de Portugal would provide the boys with the best coaching and technical skills required to have a real good shot at succeeding as a professional footballer. When I went to Sporting Lisbon I was 26 and had a four year deal, I was there for seven months and I just played six games. I was improving and enjoying my time over there with the training and the kids I was playing with," he further said.

Initially, DreamChasers hopes to target around 30,000 young footballers across all centres in the first round of selection, which will analyse the football skills of the trainees according to the Sporting Clube de Portugal (SCP) curriculum. 3000 trainees will qualify for round two at an average of 200 per venue. From these, 45 will be picked for round three, who will be screened in Mumbai by talent scouts from SCP. From these 45 the best 15 will be selected.

The final 15 players will be entitled to a 14-days sponsored training camp at SCP. They will also be inducted into the special training program, which is a commitment for five years. These 15 will be based at the residential training centre of Proforce in Kolhapur, where, besides football training, their education as well as lodging and boarding will also be looked after. The program will include 10 months of football training in Kolhapur and one month of free training every year at SCP.

The final lot of selected footballers will be nurtured and undergo professional 360 degree training until the age of 18 at the residential training centre of Proforce  -- housed at the Dr. Cyrus Poonawala International School in Kolhapur. A coach from SCP will be sent to stay with the trainees in Kolhapur with an Indian as his assistant. "We are considered as one of the best in recruitment. Football in India has a lot of potential," said commercial head of SCP, Bruno Mascarenhas. DreamChasers will first kick off in Mumbai on April 9 & 10, before moving on to Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Baroda, Gandhinagar, Kerala, Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati.


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