New Delhi: Indian Super League side NorthEast United have signed a five-year partnership with new I-League club NEROCA FC of Manipur that will focus on the strategic football development in the state and its surrounding areas.
After launching its own residential academy, Centre of Excellence, in Shillong, NorthEast United will focus on creating valuable partnerships throughout the North-East to identify home-grown talent from the hotbed of Indian football.
NorthEast United will hold a part of its pre-season in Imphal and play an exhibition match against NEROCA before the start of ISL 2017-18 campaign. Both the clubs will be committed towards working together on grassroots development initiatives in the area.
Speaking on the partnership, NorthEast United owner John Abraham said, "Our tie-up with NEROCA FC is an extremely important step towards reaching out to the vast reservoirs of talent that Manipur possesses. We recognise the fact that grassroots is an extremely important building block for sustainable football development in the region and we are proud to partner with a team that has a huge fan-base in Manipur and is as committed to football development as we are."
— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) July 19, 2017
NEROCA FC CEO Naoba Thangjam said, "Our partnership with NEUFC will mark the dawn of a new era in football, especially for a state like Manipur where sports is a way of life. We believe in giving ample opportunities in youth development and grassroots and with NEUFC, who has the same principles, I believe this partnership will open new and more opportunities. Also we look forward to our pre-season exhibition match to mark our new journey as partners."
NorthEast United club owner, John Abraham too insisted on the idea of nurturing more homegrown talent and providing them with a direct pathway in order to enter into the club. NEROCA FC will make their maiden I-League appearance this season after winning the I-League second division earlier this year.
Club owner, @TheJohnAbraham 's statement on #NEUFC' s new residential Centre of Excellence. #8States1United #PowerOf8 #Highlanders pic.twitter.com/OOEesw08I4 — NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) July 20, 2017
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Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 17:00:20 IST