Guwahati: Oliver Kahn’s football academy, Goalplay, which is specialised in goalkeeping, is keen to set up a centre of excellence in Guwahati, one of their four centres in India. Chief Operating Officer of Goalplay Moritz Mattes who discussed the matter with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday, said.
It will be set up with the assistance of the state government. As a part of Goalplay’s expansion plan, four centres of excellence will be set up in India, one each in east, west, north and south. Guwahati will be the venue for the centre of excellence for the goalkeeping academy for the eastern region.
“We are extremely overwhelmed and happy to have received a warm welcome here in Guwahati. Guwahati, in fact, is the first place we are visiting. Many football developing countries are focusing only on the players’. A good midfielder may not bring a much difference in a game but good goalkeeping can really help in changing the game. If a kid in Assam wakes up in the morning and decides that he wants to be a goalkeeper and not a striker, then he (Oliver Kahn) wants to help the little kid with coaching, with a mobile app and also exchange programme to Germany to achieve their dreams,” said Moritz Mattes.
It may be noted that Goalplay, to which former German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is associated as founder and chief executive officer, who earned golden ball for his dream performance in the football world cup 2002.
During the meeting, COO Moritz Mettes has informed the CM that Goalplay, with the help of the sports department, will pick two potential young goalkeepers from the state for them to be sent to the academy in Munich for advanced training.
Sonowal, hailing the initiative of Goalplay, thanked Oliver Kahn for choosing Guwahati as one of the venues for goalkeeping academy as the government will help in all possible aspects for Goalplay to materialise its plan.
The CM also agreed in principle that two talented goalkeepers from the state will be picked and sent to Munich for advanced training. He asked Moritz Mattes to train potential coaches from the state to help them learn all modern traits of coaching so that they can help players from Assam to make them competent for the international level.
Sonowal requested Moritz Mattes to convey state government’s invitation to Oliver Kahn for him to come to Assam and encourage the football playing talents in the state. During the discussion, he informed Moritz Mattes about state government’s plan of giving unprecedented importance for the promotion of sports and its infrastructure in Assam.
Mattes also said that Oliver Kahn is likely to visit Guwahati in October this year.
Member of Secretary State Level Advisory Committee for Students and Youth Welfare, Lakhya Konwar, said that two young goalkeepers would be selected soon for the exchange programme with the Goalplay.