Kids ready for trip to Manchester United

first_imgIt was during a school football match in 2008 that Amit Dhankhar was told by his coach to shift to central defence from his usual role as a striker as the team was short at the back.Dhankhar, a student of CRPF School, adjusted so well to the role that he continued playing as a defender. He even represented the Delhi u-17 team. Now, the 15-year-old from Haryana is one step away from going to Old Trafford for a week’s training at Manchester United.Dhankhar, along with Agaiya Sharma and Kartikeya Swarup, have been shortlisted from the Delhi leg of the ‘Airtel Rising Stars’ programme. The trio will be joining 45 others from across the country for the final selection phase from September 10-15 in Bangalore. From the 48, 12 kids will be picked to go to Manchester United.More than 3,000 under-16 players attended the four-day trials at the Ambedkar Stadium here. Apart from the number of contestants, the heat made the task tougher for the kids to impress the six selectors, all of whom were AIFF accredited coaches.After the trials got over, Dhankhar heaved a sigh of relief. “There were so many players and the contest only intensified as the trials progressed. It was really tough in the final phases,” he said.”Though I have not made it to the final 12, I still have a chance for the Bangalore trials. I don’t stay with my family as I live in a hostel and I am going to celebrate.”The youngsters are aware that the training stint at the Premiership club will only be for one week and how useful it will be in honing their skills remains to be seen. “It would have been better if the training programme was longer. But still for a youngster like me getting an opportunity to train at the Theatre of Dreams does not come every day,” said Swarup, who has also represented India at the U-13 AFC Cup Football Festival in Iran earlier this year.advertisementlast_img

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