A Crystal Palace delegation, led by club ambassador Mark Bright, have arrived in Mumbai for this weekend’s Barclays Premier League Live.
Crystal Palace has teamed up with Mumbai City FC and Star Sports to stage a trial on Thursday December 11th for the best 16-19 year-olds in the region.
The 12 most promising youngsters will then be invited to show their skills at the weekend event in front of thousands of spectators.
The winner of the Play for Palace trial will come to London to train with the club’s hottest young prospects. The Crystal Palace Academy has a long tradition of developing young talent – former Academy members include Premier League stars Victor Moses, Wilfried Zaha, Nathaniel Clyne and Wayne Routledge.
Mark is looking forward to the start of the trials “This will be the chance of a lifetime. The winner of the competition will get a fantastic experience playing at the Academy and then go back to India to become an ambassador for Palace.
“This is a unique initiative. Everyone has a favourite local team and favourite overseas team – we want football fans in India to follow us.”
The CPFC Foundation team, is also holding two days of coaching sessions for youngsters aged 12-16 at two local schools, led by UEFA ‘A’ Licence coach Gary Mulcahey, and in partnership with the Magic Bus charity. There will also be an evening workshop for coaches and volunteers at local clubs.
Palace’s initiative is part of a long-term plan to build lasting relationships in Mumbai and improve footballing standards in the region. The club has strong roots in south London but has a global following and recognises that football is becoming increasingly popular in India with the launch of the Indian Super League.