Bengaluru, February 18: The chairman and technical director of Dutch club VV SBC (Son en Breugel Combinatie), a football club based near Eindhoven, are in Bengaluru to select 20-25 children for an opportunity to train in the Netherlands for about a month.
Willem van't Geloof, chairman of SBC Holland, visited the Kickstart FC facility in JP Nagar on Sunday (February 18) to oversee the selection. He was accompanied by Fred Buijs, technical director of the club. About 150 children from Gautamapura, Lingarajapuram and Pottery Town gave the trial in the afternoon, after which the SBC head will shortlist 25 kids. These children are part of the Kickstart Foundation, which provides free coaching for underprivileged kids. Fifty kids of the Kickstart Academy too were part of the trial.
The two club officials will visit the football training grounds in each of those areas on Monday (February 19) to look at the facilities there and give another chance to those kids who missed out on Sunday's trials.
"The purpose of this visit is to tighten the collaboration we have with Kickstart FC and see what we can do to take it forward," van't Geloof said. "The academy takes the Dutch model for training, which we can help with. We can also supply the network they need to improve the expertise of their coaching."
The shortlisted candidates will visit Netherlands in June this year to be part of football clinics and training.
"The schedule set up for them is not just focused on attending the clinics," van't Geloof explained. "We're in close touch with the academies of AVV Zeeburgia and Ajax Amsterdam. There will also be clinics at Helmond Sport, a professional football club based in the city of Helmond. That apart, they will undergo training at the stadium of FC Eindhoven. There will, of course, be visits to PSV Eindhoven and Ajax Amsterdam.
"Besides football, we'll have an educational element to their trip. They will visit the ASML plant, which manufactures machines to produce chips. There are many Indians working there. It will be good for the kids to know more about the technical aspects of the company as Bengaluru is already known globally as a high-tech city. They'll also visit the Philips factory and learn a bit about medical optics," he added.
Kickstart FC earlier organised a tour to Nepal for 28 of its trainees in December 2017. The age-group squads, Under-13 and Under-17, played friendlies against the U-13 and U-17 national teams of Nepal and Pokhara state team at the Sahara Football Academy in Pokhara. In October 2017, Kickstart FC played friendlies against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.