In lines with All India Football Federation’s initiative to promote football at the grassroots, Assam too will soon be having its own baby league.
Guwahati City Football Club (GCFC) and Sportscraft Management will organize a baby league with the support of Assam Football Association (AFA) where kids of age group 6-13 years will be able to participate. The league will start from November.
“The league will be known as Greater Guwahati Baby League (GGBL). The league will be organized under rules and regulations of All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) ambitious Baby League project and will aim to bring much needed football culture in the state,” said Sportscraft Management and GCFC’s co-founder Darick Ranjan Deka on Tuesday.
The GGBL has already got green signal from AIFF as the league is registered in the baby league app and all necessary documentation is provided via AFA to the governing body of Indian football, he added.
This will be the first time that kids of the age group from 6 to 13 years in the state will get enough game time to play, learn, grow and rise as this first season of the league will run for four months starting from end of November this year.
The kids will be divided into four age categories (from 6 yrs-7yrs, 8yrs-9yrs, 10yrs-11yrs, 12yrs-13yrs) and they will play every weekend just like any professional league of the world.
“Objectives are to bring these kids to the field regularly, create football culture, give these young footballers experience of professional football, give them enough competitive time every season and bring out best when they reach the age of 13. Because this is the age when kids become ready for professional football,” co-founder Siddhartha Sankar Deka said.
Terming AIFF’s initiative to start baby league concept across the country, a game changer, Deka thanked baby leagues manager of AIFF Srinivasan Saimani, head of the player development AIFF Richard Hood, ex-COO of AIFF Kishore Taid and honorary secretary of AFA Ankur Dutta for their support.
Addressing the press conference, Ankur Dutta termed the GGBL a historic step for development of Assam football, as it is going to accelerate grassroots development. He appealed all football fans, clubs, organizations of the state to join in this project to make it successful.