A die-hard Chelsea fan himself, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan is rooting for the English club’s ‘Search for an Asian Star’ campaign, asking the youngsters here to make full use of the opportunity.
Underlining the importance of the programme, which aims to boost Asian participation at all levels of the game, Abhishek said, “I know how important it is for young Asian kids to get involved with sport, not just to reach the top but to enjoy themselves, meet new people and be part of a team.
“As a Chelsea fan I’m delighted that my club is taking a lead on providing these amazing opportunities for Asian players and would urge everyone with a love for the game to sign up and take part,” said the actor.
The tournament is scheduled on the second May Bank Holiday weekend (29-31) for players from Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi backgrounds aged 8-13.
Participants will be judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability.
One player from each age group will be selected for a week’s training with the Chelsea Academy squads during the summer with any player meeting the required standard being offered the chance to be signed by the Blues.
Last year’s initiative attracted 350 youngsters to the Cobham training ground and the three winners trained and turned out for Chelsea teams during the summer.
Two of last year’s winners have since gone to be signed by Leyton Orient and Southend.
Chelsea Football Club will also be inviting managers, coaches and scouts from clubs at all levels of the game to identify talented youngsters and information will also be on hand for Asian players to find clubs in their area.