Pune, January 9: South United Football Club (SUFC), the country’s only profitable private club whose first team plays in the Bengaluru super division currently, has officially announced the opening of three training centres in Pune, with an aim to bolster the rich footballing culture of the city and make it a hub for the sport in Western India. These three centres of the South United Football Academy that have already begun their enrolment process are based out of Undri, Bavdhan and Kharadi, in the city of Pune, providing FIFA-Grade state-of-the-art facilities to identify and nurture budding talent from the city and also from other parts of Maharashtra.
These centres will provide an opportunity for people from all age groups to build a community around the sport. The club, which is well established in Bengaluru with their FIFA-standard facility in Ulsoor, has chosen Pune as their first port of call as they begin to act on their expansion plans.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Terrence Phelan, Sporting Director, South United Sports Foundation said, “SUFC’s aim has always been to develop a structure for grassroots football in India, which we believe we have done quite successfully in Bengaluru. We want to replicate the same success in Pune. We know that the city and some surrounding regions have a rich tradition of football and we want to help the talent here realise their potential, while at the same time give everyone a feeling of community at our centres and academies subsequently. We are excited about Pune’s future in football.”
SUFC will provide demo sessions at their centres on 14th, 21st, and 28th of January, to give a glimpse of the activities that the club will provide at the centres. This will also give an opportunity for upcoming talent not only from Pune but also from other footballing hotbeds of Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Mumbai, Sangli etc.
They have partnered with Ileseum Clubs in the three centres. The centres in Bavdhan and Kharadi have an 11-a-side pitch while Undri will have a 7-a-side pitch. SUFC will run their Elite Programme, which will provide free training to talented kids which enable free coaching for selected talent from June in Bavdhan and Kharadi only.
Mr. Pranav Trehan, CEO of SUFC, said, “We have chosen Pune strategically for our first step of expansion. Pune has a very good football culture and SUFC will provide a space for all football lovers to come together and be active around the sport. The youth programmes in our academies is the perfect step for young kids to take the next step in the sport. With our state of the art infrastructure and development programmes focusing on grassroots development, we are sure that SUFC can make Pune the footballing hub of Western India.”
SUFC’s dedication extends beyond its training programmes. The Academy actively participates in community outreach and development initiatives. These efforts ensure that football reaches every corner of society, irrespective of socio-economic backgrounds and the club aims to provide such a community feeling in Pune also.
ABOUT SOUTH UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB
In 2012, when South United Football Club was first established, we competed in the I-League Second Division in that very year. We now find ourselves preparing for competition at the same level having rung a host of changes to the side since then. We have consistently performed at the highest levels of football in Karnataka. We’ve achieved this through focus on youth and development of local talent so far.
Our goal with South United Football Club is to actively contribute to the Indian Footballing movement that enables the youth of our nation to consider careers in the game a viable option. We’re determined to be a part of the game at multiple levels to achieve this, from the setting up of an academy, implementation of Soccer Schools, to reaching out to underprivileged children through the Foundation, while playing football competitively.