Bengaluru, September 3: Bangalore Dream United Football Club, a residential academy hoping to make it big, on Monday (September 3) officially launched its team that will compete in the Bangalore District Football Association's Super Division this October.
The club was launched to provide a platform for its academy players to challenge in bigger and more professional leagues in the country. Coached by SP Shaji, an Armyman who led Services to the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship in 2016, Dream United is composed of 11 of its academy graduates, one Nigerian striker and a couple of senior players signed through selection trials.
"Over the last two years, our footballers have progressed leaps and bounds," Sharath Kamath, a former CIL player and founder of the club, said on Monday. "We've now established a Super Division club to build a platform for them to play a higher level."
Even though the team has bid for the Super Division only this season, it has been active in other football competitions, especially The Amateur League played every weekend at the FSV Arena in Hennur. Fielding only its academy players, Dream United managed to reach the semifinals of TAL Cup this season and will continue to play in the second division of TAL here on.
"We've five boys from Bangalore. As we grew, we got calls from players of other states, who wanted to train with us as they felt it has a more holistic approach. Out of 20 boys from our academy, we have 11 graduates who will be part of the Super Division team. They are under the age of 19 and to bring in experience, we conducted trials and roped in a few senior players with an average age of 23. There's a foreigner too (Okezue Obi) but we're yet to obtain an NOC from the Nigerian Football Federation. We still have time to complete his signing anyway," Kamath added.
Kamath has been active in grassroots football training for the last 10 years and has now adopted a programme that is structured on sports science and getting the best out of a player without wearing him out.
"We come from a Sports Science background and have designed the routines for the strength and conditioning of the players at the club," Badrinath Rao, a bio-mechanics expert associated with the club's partners Outperform, said. "Most of our young players fail to sustain at the national level due to a huge training gap. We have come up with an innovate football structure to keep them going for a long time using high performance training techniques."
The club hopes to grow into a more professional setup in the coming years and aims to be a feeder to I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) sides.
"One fine day, I hope our players will be able to feature in more recognised and bigger leagues around the world," Kamath added. "Patience is the key. We've taken 10 years to build an academy and never bothered about winning or losing. We've never been scared to put up young players against senior professionals in competitions across Bangalore. Playing the BDFA Super Division is one such venture for providing a platform for our academy products. We're taking small steps so that we are committed towards our vision of player development."