Udaipur : Ten budding footballers from Hindustan Zinc’s Zinc Football Academy in Zawar, Udaipur district, have been selected for the national trials as India look to prepare the national squad for next year’s SAFF Championship.
Eight out of the ten players from the Zawar-based Academy -Md. Kaif, Puneet Kumar, Sanchit Varshney, Himesh Meena, Manvendra Sarvaiya, Prem Hansdak, Jitendra kumar and Himanshu have been selected in the Under-16 age category, while two others Md. Riyaz and Biswajit Saren are in the Under-20 trials.
Sharing his joy on the momentous occasion, CEO – Hindustan Zinc – Arun Misra said, “The seeds that we have sown for developing grassroots football talent in Rajasthan is bearing fruits with this achievement of our Zinc Football boys being shortlisted for National trials. It is a moment of pride for Hindustan Zinc’s state-of-the-art Zinc Football Academy as ten exceptional football players from the Academy will be fighting for a coveted spot at the national squad that will compete in the SAFF Championship next year.”
Delighted by the participation of so many Zinc Football players in the national trials, Zinc Football Academy head coach Tarun Roy said: “It’s an excellent opportunity for our talented players to showcase their talent at the national stage and fulfill their dreams of representing the nation in such a prestigious tournament.”
“We are proud of all of them and this is again a testimony of the determination and hard work that Hindustan Zinc and the whole Zinc Football team have put in behind the scenes to nurture these young kids from different corners of the country. We aim to continue our relentless efforts at the grassroots level to positively contribute towards the betterment of Indian Football”, he added.
Last year, goalkeeper Sahil Poonia became the first Zinc Football Academy player to represent India in major international tournaments like SAFF Championship. Sahil has become a prominent player of the India Under-17 team and is currently playing at the AFC Asian Cup in Thailand.
Zinc Football is a CSR initiative of Hindustan Zinc to usher in a footballing revolution in Rajasthan as well as in India. It is a one-of-its-kind grassroots development programme using football as a tool for social and community development and ensuring young kids have a platform to express themselves through football.