Kerala

Now, a football league exclusively for children

Trials are under way for the selection of a pool of 120 players who will be put up for auction on December 22.

Trials are under way for the selection of a pool of 120 players who will be put up for auction on December 22.  

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Kochi Kids League will feature eight teams of players, both boys and girls, aged under 12

The city will witness a unique auction on December 22 when young football talents will go under the hammer for selection by the teams that will feature in the maiden edition of an exclusive league for children.

Kochi Kids League (KKL), arguably the first of its kind football league for children, will feature eight teams of players aged under 12 to be backed by corporate firms. Each team will be allowed to pick a maximum of 15 players.

A highlight is the gender neutral nature of the league, which means that teams could be a mix of boys and girls. The league is being organised by SportHood, a network of neighbourhood sports centres in Bengaluru and Kochi.

Round robin format

The league will get under way on January 19 and will be wrapped up by February end since examinations will get under way in March. The KKL will follow the round robin format before top teams proceed to the knockout phase.

The games will be played on weekends. “Our idea is to create a miniature version of the Indian Super League (ISL). Trials are now under way for the selection of a pool of 120 players who will be put up for auction on December 22,” said Abin Joy, project head, KKL, SportHood.

The auction will not involve any money but teams will pick players and fund their entire expenses from training and jerseys to football kits. Teams will also hire qualified coaches. The selection trials are now being held at the football turf at Edappally. But soon trials will be taken to local football academies and schools for identifying talents.

“The team selection will be followed by a 15-day training session under the watch of the respective coaches during the Christmas vacation. We hope these young talents will capture the attention of scouts of ISL teams and manage to make it to their academies,” said Mr. Joy. Organisers are planning to make the KKL a fixed feature of the city’s sports calendar with more age categories to be added in the coming years.

The auction will also be fine-tuned along the ISL model in due course.

Those interested may contact: +91 77362 00850.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:00:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/now-a-football-league-for-children/article30231276.ece

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