Nurturing the Next Breed of Professional Footballers
Bangalore: RFC Football Academy, a platform where rising stars get to train with the finest in football, announced the launch of its Residential Academy in Bangalore earlier today. The full-fledged residential football programme, which is integrated with educational pursuits, is located in the 130-acre enclave of Brigade Orchards at Devanahalli, Bengaluru.
The launch was attended by distinguished members of the football fraternity including Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Vice-Captain – Indian Football Team), M. P. Swamy (Chairman – Bangalore District Football Association), Preetham Chandra (Managing Director – RFC Football Academy), Abhishek Sharma (Managing Director – Athletes Today) and Arki Nongrum (Managing Director – Touchline Sports).
The academy is the brainchild of Preetham Chandra and was conceived as a purpose-driven idea that could enable our passionate and talented youth to pursue academics and sports in equal measure with a provision for ample career opportunities during and after their tenure.
The premier football training destination is open to students from 11 to 21 years, from all socio-economic backgrounds, offering them international-level training from formulated by the academy’s Technical Director, Mr. Marcos Anjos. This is supplemented by a sports-science driven curriculum developed by Mr. Gabriel Anjos, the Head of the youth coaching programme.
Apart from an international training faculty, the professional football training experience at the academy is augmented by a team of mentors, nutritionists, counsellors and peers in an inclusive environment on a year-round basis. In terms of facilities, the academy has world-class infrastructure which includes full-sized football field, training pitch, swimming pool and an international-grade gym for a sports-science driven curriculum. The boarding students have access to a whole host of amenities like comfortable and secure lodging, a nutritious menu, study areas and a library all under the watch of experienced wardens.
Speaking at the launch, Preetham Chandra, founder of RFC Football Academy said, “The residential academy comes from RFC’s dedication to meet the aspirations of our nation to develop world-class student-athletes with professionalism, determination and zeal. RFC Football Academy will be home to young athletes from across India and provide an innovative and immersive platform where rising talent train with the finest in football. Passion for the sport will be nurtured and guided to reach complete player potential in a place that offers everything needed to form ideal student-athletes, who will champion the future of Indian sports as sportsmen, leaders and influencers.
The academy has collaborated with reputed institutions to offer a diverse syllabus ranging from ICSE, CBSE, IGCSE and SSLC to multiple streams at the college level. Beyond academics and football, the academy’s extensive network will ensure that the student-athletes get abundant exposure by playing plenty of domestic and international matches. Additionally, the academy has tied up with India’s foremost talent scouting firms, Athletes Today in Mumbai and Touchline Sports, from North-East India to ensure that athletes get a shot at professional football and placement opportunities across the football ecosystem. Marcos Anjos, Technical Director of the RFC Football Academy summarises the goal of the residential programme by saying, ‘The aim is to provide the best possible training, educational support and career guidance to give the budding young sportspersons the kind of trajectory that they require to succeed both nationally and on the global stage.”
Founder and Managing Director, RFC Football Academy
A true football evangelist, Preetham Chandra, a former state-level player and technocrat turned sports promoter, quit a cushy corporate life to pursue sports management. He founded Footieculture, a company that works towards providing a holistic platform for football to all age groups and has convened interstate tournaments and big-ticket events for over 8 years. He has hands-on knowledge in the sports domain. Preetham founded the RFC Football Academy with the vision of bringing forth facilities and resources in the national football sphere that meet world standards.
“RFC Football Academy is a commitment to a purpose-driven learning environment in which student-athletes will master a broad range of skills and competencies. High performance defines our foundational approach to growth in a classroom and in a play. This will be further balanced with an emphasis on character development and social responsibility, which in entirety will prepare our student-athletes for success in their careers and through their lives.”
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Brand Ambassador, RFC Football Academy
Gurpreet is the Vice-Captain of the Indian Football Team and the goalkeeper for Bengaluru FC, one of India’s top football clubs. Sandhu was named captain of the India national team for the friendly match against Puerto Rico, where India won 4–1 in 2017. He is the first ever Indian to play a competitive match for the first team of a top-division European club and the fifth Indian to play professionally in Europe. He is also the first Indian to play in the UEFA Europa League. Gurpreet is passionate about spreading awareness of football as a professional career to the youth and is the spokesperson and brand ambassador of RFC Football Academy and its residential programme.
“The academy would be the destination to ignite passions, realise dreams and create a future in professional football. The combination of world-class facilities, a great learning environment, a conducive campus and expert international as well as domestic coaches dedicated to total student-player development and an innovative curriculum means RFC Football Academy offers unmatched opportunities to pursue the beautiful game at the highest standards.”
Vice President, RFC Football Academy
Abhishek Sharma is the successful founder of Athletes Today in Mumbai. With an impressive track record at this young stage in his career, he has steered the career of young athletes through Indian and foreign pathways. He is a graduate of the International Institute of Sports Management and is currently also a faculty member there. Abhishek’s skills lie in dynamic sponsorship sales, marketing and athlete management.
“We want build the best youth football academy in India and maintain International standards. A professional approach for players who want to make a career in football maybe as a player, coach, performance analyst, managers, sports media and sports medicine. This way we can create the entire Eco-System.”
CEO, Meghalaya Football Association | Co-Founder & Managing Director, Touchline Sports
Growing up in boarding school, sports played a pivotal role in shaping the way Arki accepted life and faced its countless challenges. On graduating in Business Administration from Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies (Pune) and a PG Diploma course in Sports Management from the International Institute of Sports Management (Mumbai), he started Touchline, which revolves around the development and promotion of all sports especially at the grassroots level. He lends his experience to the Youth Development of Rangdajied United F.C, an accredited national Youth Academy and has also been the state coordinator for Meghalaya under Mission XI Million.
Marco Antonio Anjos
Technical Director, RFC Football Academy
Marco Anjos is a UEFA B license coach and former professional player with over 20 years of experience. As a player, Anjos always played at the highest level, representing the São Paulo Futebol Clube (Brazil), among other clubs in countries like Portugal, France, Netherlands, Serbia and Croatia. Anjos is also known for having developed across the years a successful training methodology, boosting players to the elite European football. In the last years, Anjos has worked as a Technical Director too, where he had the opportunity to develop academies, forming coaches, teaching the European high standard and excellence of the football.
“High performance is not only about physical abilities. Our unique training programme builds a total athlete by incorporating additional modules in leadership, vision training, nutrition, mental toughness and body management. This continues into promoting player progression, character development, and overall personal development. Helping our players reach full potential in sport and life.”
Youth Development head, RFC Football Academy
Gabriel is an expert in youth development, high performance training and academy coordination. Keen to grow players and achieve true standards of excellence, Gabriel’s personal skills are a strong technical- tactical knowledge of the game along with a background in the competitive European football arena as a player. In his extensive career as a player and a coach, Gabriel has demonstrated a great capacity to work with enthusiasm and ambition in an efficient and innovative manner.
“RFC Academy has multiple differentiators that allow our student-athletes to maximize their potential through immersive and progressive training as part of their sport programming through strength training, speed, flexibility, injury prevention, vision, nutrition, confidence, focus and communication. All this is set in an inclusive and perfect training environment.”
Chairman, Bangalore District Football Association
Mr. Swamy oversees the administration of Bangalore District Football Association, the governing body of football in Bengaluru based out of the prestigious Bangalore Football Stadium. Under his direction, BDFA has conducted various leagues across the city. He is instrumental in having created special purpose programmes to help nurture new talent and creating a pathway to professional football. His cohesive thinking has led to successful implementation of joint projects with The Karnataka State Football Association – the regulatory body for football in the state of Karnataka and with the All India Football Federation.
“Football is reaching the hearts and minds of millions in the country. What India lacks is not talent but the right level of infrastructure, world-class training and the right guidance. RFC Football Academy is providing all that while taking care of all the needs of a young budding footballer and giving equal importance to both football and