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Mahindra starts city leg of talent hunt

Principal Correspondent

KOLKATA: A total of 32 teams will be seen in action in the Kolkata leg of Mahindra Youth Football Challenge, which gets underway in different stadiums around the city on Wednesday.

Calling it a tournament-cum-talent hunt the organiser has picked up 32 schools with proper football teams from the city and its suburbs.

The tournament will be played in a knock-out format and the champion school of the city leg will move on to play the next round where the winners of the other five legs — Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Goa — will fight for the national crown in the inter-city challenge.

Automobile giant Mahindra — which disbanded its senior I-League football team to focus on ‘grassroot' development — has tied up with the Glasgow-based Celtic Football Club to bring out its first initiative at “grooming young talent”.

Prize money

With the state's governing body of the sport, Indian Football Association, providing logistical support, the matches will played in three different venues including SAI Eastern Centre, Rabindra Sarobar Stadium and Makardah Stadium.

The winning team will get a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 while the runner-up will be earning Rs. 20,000.

There will be individual awards for the best striker, midfielder and defender apart from the overall ‘Star Performer” of the tournament.

Finally, a group of 16 players short-listed from the inter-city challenge will get a chance to participate in a five-day coaching clinic organised by the Celtic coaches.

Four player selected from the camp will travel to Glasgow for “further intensive training,” informed the organiser.

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