The budding footballers who have enrolled at the training centre at Agrico grounds on Tuesday. (Bhola Prasad)
The steel city has got a new fitness formula — soccer.
The stage has been set for opening a football training centre, promoted by Jamshedpur Health Awareness Association (JHAA), at Agrico grounds. Former India footballer and chief coach of Tata Football Academy (TFA) P. Vijay Kumar will inaugurate the facility on Wednesday morning.
Jharkhand Football Association vice-president Ramesh Chandra Mehta, JHAA chairman Achinta Gupta, former India midfielder and Tata Motors coach K.C. Murmu, former footballer A. Bhagwati and a host of other dignitaries will be present.
Twenty-six budding footballers in the age group of 10-16 have enrolled their names at the centre. The trainees were handed over jerseys, shorts and socks at a small function on Tuesday evening.
“We had always wanted to start a football training centre. Jamshedpur has talented boys, who have the potential to reach the higher echelons of the game. We think the training centre will offer them a platform to fine-tune their skills under experienced hands,” said Jagannath Behera, general secretary of the association.
Behera and Sushil Hembrom, a former Bihar footballer, will conduct the coaching sessions starting from Wednesday. Behera has donned Bihar jersey in sub-junior national football championships and has also represented Ranchi University. He is also an active member of Jharkhand Football Association.
“Vijay Kumar will also be available for giving tips to the trainees from time to time. He has given his consent for the same,” added Hembrom.
The training sessions will be conducted five days a week in the evenings.
According to Behera, the trainees will have to cough up Rs 200 as monthly fee. “We had invited applications and are happy that 26 boys have enrolled their names. Inquiries are pouring in and we are hopeful that more will join the centre,” he added.
Kumar, a popular face in the city’s soccer fraternity, complimented JHAA for coming up with a training facility. “The need for football training was being felt in the steel city for some years now. I am sure the training centre will be able to produce good players in the years to come,” he added.