Bharat Kapur, development manager, Delhi Dynamos FC, talks about his team’s grassroots plans.
Your football journey:
Once I completed my education, I joined Trinity Sports Management, which is into grassroots football. I then moved to the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools and then got into the corporate and marketing side of football with Anglian Management Group. I’ve come a full circle and am back to grassroots now, with the Delhi Dynamos as development manager!
Your team’s focus on grassroots football:
The basic objective is to create a huge funnel, and get in as many kids as possible to play football. Once we get in the kind of quantity that we’re talking about into the funnel, the objective is to whittle that down to the final 30-40 kids whom we can train in an elite youth set-up.
Organic growth is something that the club is very passionate about. Delhi is like a mini India – there are people from all over the country here, who could potentially support various Hero Indian Super League teams. The key for us is to build a community within Delhi for the Delhi Dynamos, and actually create that passion within the people that they don’t end up supporting any other club.
The benefits of a foreign technical tie-up:
Big clubs abroad are way ahead of us in the learning curve, so they’re providing us with the expertise, the knowledge, and a lot of human capital as well.
We’ve tied up with Feyenoord, and the Dutch are one of the pioneers when it comes to youth development. Usually foreign clubs come in mainly for the marketing and so on, but Feyenoord really want to help us with grassroots football and youth development, and I see this as a huge step for Indian football that a club of such stature has joined hands with us.
Your grassroots vision:
I picture every kid playing football – that’s my idea of grassroots football. It’s about having good coaches around who are very passionate about the game, are open to new ideas, and are keen on learning new ways on how to teach kids. Grassroots football is about just ensuring that everybody – including the coaches – have fun, with a certain learning and development element to that as well.
Your city’s unique advantages & disadvantages:
I think our biggest advantage is also our biggest disadvantage – the sheer size of the city! If you include suburbs like Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, it’s a huge place. So we potentially have a massive talent pool across the city, but traveling to all corners of the city and finding that talent will be a challenge.
Your team’s immediate grassroots plans:
We basically want to reach out to as many schools as possible. We’ve reached out to a huge number (about 100) already, and gotten them to participate in an inter-zonal tournament. We’re also going to have a ‘train the trainers’ workshop which we’re going to conduct over the next six months.
Our scouts will pick about 50 kids from the under-14 and 50 kids from the under-17 category, and they’re going to be participating in another tournament, as well as train under the Baichung Bhutia Football Schools. So they’re going to train as well as compete. And then they are going to get whittled down to 30 kids in each category. That’s the funnel I was talking about – that we get the maximum number of kids in, and get the cream out.
(This article is taken from: http://www.indiansuperleague.com/grassroots/107-delhi-dynamos-are-passionate-about-organic-growth)