Superstar John Abraham’s popular football club, the NorthEast United FC (NEUFC), took its first major step towards nurturing footballing talent across the eight states of Northeast India by launching its own residential youth academy.
The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will operate from Shillong and will offer the handpicked kids the best in terms of training, education and competition throughout the year.
“This is a dream come true,” John Abraham said while making the announcement. “When I bid for the team three years ago, my first goal was to start a residential academy for the talented kids. We will all do everything in our power to provide every talented child the opportunity to learn and eventually play for the NEUFC first team,” he added.
The ambitious plan fell into place after NEUFC joined hands with Shillong United FC, formerly known as Royal Wahingdoh FC, to develop the region into a footballing power centre.
“We are delighted to start this developmental project with NEUFC,” Dominic Tariang, owner of Shillong United and partner-youth development, stated.
“We have already charted a well-defined and competitive pathway for the fantastic talent pool of the Northeast. We want to showcase all this on the biggest footballing stage in India,” John added.
Dominic Tariang thanked John Abraham and the NEUFC for being such strong believers in the football potential of the Northeast. “Our partnership creates synergies that will benefit the footballing environment of not just Shillong but all other parts of the region,” he added.
The two clubs will pick the best students for the CoE and provide them training and education and also competition throughout the year. Shillong United already has a solid base in the capital and will give the chosen ones opportunities to play and enhance their skills in the Shillong State League and other competitions.
The CoE will create teams in the Under-13, the Under-15 and Under-18 categories so that the NEUFC has an abundance of young talent to choose from in the near future.