Real Madrid to open Soccer academy in Bali

Jakarta, Oct 3: Spanish champions Real Madrid plan to open a soccer academy on Indonesia's Bali island by 2008, the academy director said today.

By August next year, certified coaches from the Primera Liga giants will start training 9-18 year olds in a lavish sporting and dormitory complex to be built in the resort area of Canggu on the island, academy director Carmen Yahya told Reuters.

PT Realindo Sports Indonesia, the club's local venture, has secured a go-ahead from the national sports council and the ministry of education to open schools in Bali and Jakarta.

''We signed the deal in June and now we are rolling out plans to have the academy set up, first in Bali, then hopefully in Jakarta by 2009,'' said Yahya, a sports medicine and psychology expert.

Students will be charged an estimated $20,000 for an intensive 10-month training period. The best players will get a chance to take part at a special camp in the club's hometown Madrid.

Yahya said Indonesia's 220 million population has so far been an untapped source of talent.

''The academy will be the first of its kind in the country and is expected to produce world-class players from Indonesia and the surrounding region,'' she said by telephone.

For promotional purposes, the company also plans to launch a sponsored soccer training camp at the end of this year, where Real Madrid trainers will coach champions of a local soccer match for under eighteen-year-olds.


Story first published: Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 16:01 [IST]
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