Iniesta’s football academy set for kick off in Kerala
Kerala Football Association (KFA) President Navas Meeran and Super League Kerala CEO Mathew Joseph on Wednesday unveiled Project Gamechanger, to overhaul football training at the grassroots
In an effort to transform the future of professional football in the state, Super League Kerala — the soon-to-be flagship competition in the state — has joined hands with Andres Iniesta Scouting, an initiative of the football academy run by Spanish legend Andres Iniesta.
Kerala Football Association (KFA) President Navas Meeran and Super League Kerala CEO Mathew Joseph on Wednesday unveiled Project Gamechanger that aims to overhaul football training at the grassroots.
Signalling a renaissance in the state’s tryst with football, the initiative emphasises an extensive Train the Trainers programme, followed by scouting, and culminating in an elite academy synergising the strengths of the Super League Kerala and the Andrés Iniesta Academy.
The project is positioned to impact nearly 30,000 children in Kerala. In collaboration with Andrés Iniesta Scouting, close to 50 Super League Kerala coaches will engage in a certified programme, preparing them to scout talent over 2,500 matches spanning close to nine months across five age categories.
“The world of football keeps changing, and it is integral for our players to keep pace with this ever-evolving sport. Our endeavour will outline long-term strategies that seek to create a new vision and system of football in Kerala by identifying talent from the grassroots and equipping them for global levels,” said Mathew Joseph.
He said the Super League Kerala will be launched as the state’s official football league in the near future. “It will feature six dynamic franchises competing in a thrilling head-to-head showdown. Scouts specialising in Iniesta’s footballing philosophy will arrive in Kerala and lead a training programme for coaches recruited by the Kerala Football Association,” he said while explaining the action plan.
“The project will witness extensive scouting by the KFA coaches and their international counterparts to
unearth raw potential in the state. Complementing this, open trials are scheduled at Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Ernakulam in the first phase of the initiative.” The league intends to eventually inculcate the footballing philosophy of ‘Total Football’, and strives to usher in a new era of football development and foster the true essence of the beautiful game.
“Super League Kerala’s plan is firmly anchored in the legacy of football icon Andrés Iniesta,” said Mathew when asked about the association with Andres Iniesta academy. “It is our dream to bring him to Kerala. We have had a few discussions about this.”