AC Milan is ready to kick off a new and challenging project by opening the first three International Academies in India in collaboration with the Calicut Sport City LLP company. This new project backs up the growth and expansion process of the AC Milan Academies and aims at the spreading of the Club's values and excellence all over the world.
The three-year agreement provides for a plan for the development of AC Milan's Academies in the Indian state of Kerala; the project is going to kick off in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam and it is going to be launched also in Kasargod, Kannur and Trissur in the following seasons.
The activities are going to start in April with Claudio Zola, AC Milan's official coach, who will reside in Indian territory. His duties will be to support the training of local coaches, to supervise the scheduling and carrying out of the daily training sessions and to provide an appropriate analysis of the technical development in line with the Club's high standards.
"I am extremely proud to be able to collaborate with one of the most iconic Clubs in the world that boasts 120 years of history and tradition - said the president of Calicut Sports City LLP, Milan Baiju -. AC Milan will now be an enduring point of reference in Kerala's territory, in India, and I am more than confident that the AC Milan Academy is going to improve the quality and professional level of all the children and coaches involved by responding to a specific demand of the area. I firmly believe that AC Milan's methodology, that has been developed over the years by highly qualified professionals, will be a milestone for the success of football in India."
Initially the Academy will be set in the splendid settings of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam: "The goal of the first year - continued Baiju - is to involve more than 600 children between 5 to 18 years old, who will have the opportunity to train and participate in all the activities offered by the Academy. The Calicut Arena in Kozhikode will be the headquarters of the entire project that is going to be broadened involving other sports facilities in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam to bring us closer to many families and provide high quality training to the children involved."
"We are very happy to announce this partnership with Calicut Sport City LLP - said Alessandro Gianni, AC Milan International Academies Manager - and to give continuity to the international development of the AC Milan Academy project. India is a highly strategic territory and we are proud to launch a project that, from the state of Kerala, will allow us to bring thousands of children into football with passion and competence thus promoting all those sporting values that have always been the basis of our Club's initiatives. Our mission is to share AC Milan's technical and organisational know-how, focusing on the training of local coaches and managers so they can involve boys, girls and their families on a daily basis. Claudio Zola, AC Milan Academy official coach, will help to manage and to power the project that, starting from the cities of Kozhikode, Malappuram and Ernakulam, is going to seize all the opportunities in terms of social and sporting results."
Michele Lorusso, AC Milan International Business Development Director, added: "This partnership is going to cement the bonds between AC Milan and the territory through a sports programme that conveys sporting culture and football excellence. The AC Milan International Academies project currently features 19 active academies in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Japan, India, Kuwait, Morocco, UAE, Vietnam, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland and allows us to follow the human and sporting growth of thousands of children and to share our Club's philosophy and working method in those territories with hundreds of coaches. Therefore, we are able to respond to the specific demands of each territory and to establish closer relationships with the institutions to the benefit of the entire community."