Chelsea search for Asian football star

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Premiership club returns for second year of talent hunt

PREMIERHSIP leaders Chelsea FC have begun their second hunt for an Asian football star.

Two of last year’s Asian Stars have now gone on to sign for professional clubs and this year Chelsea will be offering six lucky players the chance to win a week-long trial at their world famous Academy.

The tournament will take place on the second May Bank Holiday for players from Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi backgrounds aged 8 to 13 years old and is supported by Asian Media Group and anti-racism charity Kick it Out.

The initiative is the first of its kind ever undertaken by a professional football club and is designed to give a much needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game.

Last year’s initiative saw 350 young people attending the Cobham training ground and the three winning players training and turning out for Chelsea teams during the summer. Two of last year’s winners have since gone to be signed by Leyton Orient and Southend.  

“Last year was a massive success with two of the boys going from Sunday League football to play for professional clubs,” said Simon Taylor Chelsea’s Head of CSR. “We want this year’s tournament to be bigger and better so we have doubled the amount of age groups and trials on offer. The scheme is not just about finding the next Anelka, Drogba or Lampard, it is about breaking down barriers, showing Asian players that opportunities at all levels of the game do exist and encouraging them to maximise their potential.”  

Piara Powar, Director of Kick It Out added: “”We fully endorse the Search for an Asian Star initiative. The outcomes from the 2009 initiative demonstrate how a project like this can break down stereotypes, and give genuine opportunities in the professional game for talented young Asian players.”

“The Chelsea scheme uses the best that the club can offer to reach out to the best talent in a way that gives other young Asians the encouragement to believe that there is a place in the game for them.”

Applications are now open but places are limited for each day. To register for the trials please visit the Chelsea website www.chelseafc.com/asiansoccerstar

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