On football scene, Chandigarh enters elite club of cities

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"At Escola, the drill sessions would be the same which the Barcelona first team follows. We follow a fixed criteria. So, the best training is guaranteed to the players and on top of that, if the players do well during the trials in Delhi NCR, then they have a chance to become a part of the FCB Escola squad that represents FC Barcelona in tournaments. Also, we have two coaches from Punjab — G S Parmar and his brother — to assist us. There is a lot of potential here and we, as representatives of FC Barcelona, want to show what we know and what we believe in. There is a long-term programme to teach football to players at the grassroots level," says Antoni Claveria, technical director of FCB Escola India.

After the five-day coaching camp, trials will be held in Chandigarh following which players will undergo a month-long coaching clinic at FCB Escola academy in Delhi NCR. There is an added advantage for players from Chandigarh as they have a chance to impress Antoni and then appear for the final trials without facing the ordeal of pre-trials.

However, the players will have to shell out a hefty sum of Rs 13,600, including the kit and certificate, for the five-day coaching camp. Those belonging to the economically weaker sections can rejoice as the FCB Escola has 10 per cent seats reserved for them and also the women players who appear for the trials.

"Chandigarh has emerged as the new football hub of the region as they have been regularly winning trophies in national tournaments," says Harjinder Singh, coach of Chandigarh Football Academy.

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