Top English Premier League side Liverpool on Wednesday announced the launch of a residential football academy here in partnerships with city-based DSK Shivajians FC.
The full-time coaching academy, named LFC International Football Academy DSK, will be a world class purpose-built residential complex, featuring full-size pitches, practice areas, classrooms, changing rooms, a gym, canteen, lecture theatre, residential and medical facilities.
The academy will officially open in January next year and will be a market-leading development center for young players in India, servicing DSK Shivajians, a release said.
The programme, which will support aspiring young footballers up to the age of 18, will provide the players with the opportunity to develop their game in a professional academy environment, said the release from Libero Sports, a consultancy firm which facilitated the initiative.
"At the Academy in Liverpool we aim to develop outstanding players and good human beings. The results speak for themselves as just last season seven Academy players made their first team debuts. Education and community work is key to the development of our young players and we look forward to taking our knowledge and experience to India," said Academy Director, Frank McParland.
Coaches from Liverpool FC will work on the project in India and will pass on technical expertise to the players and coaches involved in the Academy. Over time, more full time coaches will come from Liverpool FC to oversee each age group players at the Academy.
"This is the first time an English top-flight club has partnered with an Indian team to help them bring through local talent. Millions of our LFC family are based in India so we are very excited to be working with DSK Shivajians and being part of the game's development in the country," said Chief Commercial Officer at Liverpool FC, Billy Hogan.
Shirish Kulkarni, Executive Director of DSK Group and brainchild of this strategic partnership, said, "This is a strategic move for us at DSK Shivajians FC and as well as for aspiring young footballers who will get the opportunity to train and get direct supervision from one of the world's most reputed football clubs, Liverpool FC.
"We are delighted with this partnership and believe that this will go a long way in inspiring and honing skills of both current players and aspirants and give them an opportunity to actualize their potential."
DSK Shivajians will utilize their facilities at DSK Supinfocom International, situated in Loni for this facility.
This new facility will also enable Liverpool FC to run its world-renowned soccer schools programme, giving youngsters the opportunity to learn how to play football the same way as Liverpool FC greats Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard.