Italian football giants AC Milan has picked up three cities in the Indian state of Kerala to launch three new academies. It will be the first three international academies by the club in the country, with at least three more academies expected to follow soon.
In a release, AC Milan confirmed that the project will kick start in Malappuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode, with academies coming up in Trissur, Kasargod and Kannur in the upcoming seasons as well. The academies will be opened in collaboration with the Calicut Sport City LLP, and will aim to unearth the young talent in the country.
The work for the academies will begin in April 2020, with AC Milan's Claudio Zola, getting in touch with local coaches to supervise and schedule the daily training sessions in the three campuses. He will also be responsible for analyzing the technical development of the youngsters.
In the first year alone, approximately 600 children between the ages of 5 to 18 are expected to enroll in the academies, taking part in the activities and training sessions.
Alessandro Gianni, AC Milan International Academies Manager said in a release, "We are very happy to announce this partnership with Calicut Sport City LLP and to give continuity to the international development of the AC Milan Academy project. India is a highly strategic territory and we are proud to launch a project that, from the state of Kerala, will allow us to bring thousands of children into football with passion and competence thus promoting all those sporting values that have always been the basis of our Club's initiatives. Our mission is to share AC Milan's technical and organisational know-how, focusing on the training of local coaches and managers so they can involve boys, girls and their families on a daily basis. Claudio Zola, AC Milan Academy official coach, will help to manage and to power the project that, starting from the cities of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam, is going to seize all the opportunities in terms of social and sporting results."
In the recent past, Indian football has been making waves, with Manchester City first acquiring a 65% stake in the Indian Super League team Mumbai City FC, which was followed by I-League side Chennai City FC selling their top striker Pedro Manzi for INR 1 crore to a Japanese J2 League club Albirex Niigata - the highest deal to be inked in Indian football.