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Soccer academy trials start today

Jamshedpur, March 31: Tata Football Academy will start its second phase of selection trials from tomorrow to induct fresh cadets for the 2010-2014 batch.

About 150 boys from across the country have already arrived in the city to give their best shot during the five-day trials at the academy grounds.

Aspirants from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Gujarat, Assam and others states are putting up at the residential wing of the JRD Tata Sports Complex. They have been sent to attend the trials by their respective state soccer associations.

“We conduct selection trials for the induction of a new batch every two years. It’s a continuous process and we have to be very careful to pick the right players,” said Ranjan Chowhary, the chief coach of academy.

Enthusiasm was evident among aspirants as they started preparations for the big day.

Most boys, some accompanied by their parents or coaches, had arrived here last night, while a few aspirants kept trickling in since this morning.

“We had informed the respective state football associations of the schedule of the trials and asked them to send their best bets for it. Besides, we have also invited some players after spotting them at different cities of the country. There are some boys who had come to the steel city for the All-India (Under-14) Football Festival in January,” a TFA official said.

Some aspirants from the state will also participate.

Assistant coach of the academy P. Vijay Kumar said: “Since the aspirants come in the 15 age-group, we would not be putting much stress on them as far as assessment is concerned. But we can make out the talent in the boys by just watching their moves on the ground. Obviously, talent will the key to selection,” he said.

Twelve aspirants had been shortlisted after the phase I of the selection trials held from February 25-27. As many boys would be shortlisted in this trials, too. “The final 18-20 boys will be picked from among 24 candidates. We hope to complete the process by mid-April,” Chowdhary said.

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