INDIAN & INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL NEWS - FEBRUARY : 2015

Bharat FC appoint Barry Knowles head of club's youth development program

Bharat FC appoint Barry Knowles

17.02.2015 : KFC. | www.kolkatafootball.com HOME PAGE | LIKE FB

BFC Press release : Bharat FC reaffirmed their commitment to building a comprehensive footballing structure by inducting renowned English coach, Barry Knowles, as the head of the Bharat FC youth academy program. The 55-year-old Knowles arrived in Pune last week and has already begun work on developing a well-rounded youth structure for the development and nurturing of young footballing talent present in the city.

Knowles, born in Wigan, is a former professional footballer who has more than 300 appearances to his credit for five distinguished clubs in England. Having signed for Southport FC at the beginning of the 1978-1979 season, Knowles moved to Runcorn FC, Barrow AFC and then to Wigan Athletic where he enjoyed great success. An attacking full-back, Knowles retired from professional football at the age of 33 and dived straight into coaching, taking up a youth academy role with Wigan Athletic.

The 55-year-old is credited with spotting current England international Leighton Baines' potential and was instrumental in getting the full-back in to Wigan's youth system after Liverpool FC had released the youngster. Knowles then moved on to coaching roles with former Premier League side Blackpool FC, where he served as the head of youth development and was also an important constituent at the youth setup of Chester City FC. His last assignment was as the head coach at Burnley College Football Academy. Amongst the first coaches in England to complete the UEFA A License, Knowles has also worked with clubs like Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Amit Kalyani, Managing Director, Bharat FC said that Knowles appointment was made keeping in mind the Englishman's proven work with young players and the ability to put in place holistic development programs that ensure the all-round development of talented young footballers. "We are very happy to welcome Barry to Bharat FC. He comes with an impeccable reputation and we hope that he emulates the high standards that he has set in England. The Bharat FC youth academy is a project very close to the hearts of everyone here at the club and we believe that with Barry's appointment we have made a very good start in putting together a top-class youth program here at Bharat FC," he said.

Knowles said he was very excited by the prospect of working in a youth academy setup in India when Bharat FC's head coach Stuart Watkiss first indicated that there might be an opening at the club. 'Stuart has a great reputation in England and when he told me about the chance to come to India, I was really excited. Indian football is growing rapidly and from what I have seen, the youngsters here are really willing to learn, absorb new things and improve. I think that’s a great foundation and we can definitely build upon that. My goal is to give Bharat FC the best youth system in this country,' he said.

Bharat FC are currently in the process of constructing their own training ground at Manjri. The custom-built, state-of-the-art facility will house the club's academy and Bharat FC has plans to put together under-9, under-11, under-13, under-15, under-17 and under-19 teams in their youth structure. Another unique aspect of this youth setup will be that the academy will be giving preference to young aspirants from Pune.

LFC International Football Academy - DSK Shivajians receives astounding response for the trials held in Goa Trials to form the 2015-16 squad of the LFC-DSK Academy

LFC International Football Academy - DSK Shivajians

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DSK Press release : Liverpool Football Club (LFC) International Football Academy - DSK Shivajians held its trials to form the 2015-16 squad in Goa on 12th, 13th and 15th February 2015.

Conducted by Head Coach, Dave Rogers, and Academy Coach, Michael Rice, this year Goa saw over 300 participants in the scouting trials. The shortlisted players will participate in the final round in Pune to form two groups of Under-19 (Born on or between 1st Jan 1997 and 31st December 1998) and Under-17 (Born on or between 1st Jan 1999 and 31st December 2000), respectively.

The second leg of the trials to form the 2015-16 squad will be held at the DSK Dream City Football Field, Pune, on 5th and 12th April, 2015. For all those who missed out on trials in Goa can register for the Pune trials at www.lfc-dskacademy.co.in. In 2014, a three-month-long nationwide scouting tour, held in six cities, saw over 3000 participants who underwent rigorous selection to form the 2014-15 squad of the Academy.

Shirish Kulkarni, President, Liverpool FC International Football Academy – DSK Shivajians said, "The response that we received from the participants in Goa has been extremely humbling. We are delighted that our venture has evoked great interest in a large number of football loving youth and we only want to see it doubling year after year. The numbers in Goa reassure us that players across the country want to be a part of the Liverpool International Football Academy - DSK Shivajians."

Dave Rogers, Head Coach, Liverpool FC International Football Academy - DSK Shivajians said "It was my first experience with the trials in India and it was heartwarming to see players turn out in such numbers. The players were driven and confident and performed to the top of their abilities, which was impressive to say the least. The selected players will join us for the final rounds in Pune later this year. However, we are not just looking for footballing talent. Attitude, mentality and how they represent themselves as team players, is quite critical since it mirrors Liverpool FC's core philosophy."

Michael William Rice,coach from Liverpool FC added "It is overwhelming to be a part of such a huge project that is dedicated to the development offootball in India.The current batch of students at the Academy has shown true passion for the game and a willingness to learn and develop. In Goa we met a large pool of talented players who were so competitive that they made it difficult for us to shortlist the players for the final round of trials. This is only a good sign and we are excited to begin the second year with a bunch of talent who will experience the 'Liverpool Way."