KOZHIKODE: Football academies are not little-known entities in Kozhikode, but how often have we heard about institutes that teach both football skills and the importance of being a civilised human in a deeply-depraved society?
Welcome to Crescent Football Academy, Vellimadukunnu, a pioneering football school aimed, not solely but mainly, at imparting the basics of the game. But, the motto of the academy does not end there, but well extends to catching the young and helping them build character. “It is a system that teaches them to put their skills to good effect; and an avenue to bring order into the lives of their less-disciplined wards,” says P M Fayaz, founder-manager of Crescent. The academy was launched quietly in 2010 with just a few children, but picked up steam a year later when N M Najeeb took over the role of main coach. It now boasts of 60 trainees in four different batches - 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2006.
“We don’t hold screening or selection trials for admission so that children of any ability can come to the academy and just be a part of the system,” adds Fayaz, who is an avid football lover too. “It is only recently that we were promoted to the C- Division football league from E-Division. Najeeb has done a lot of work that his wealth of experience as a football coach comes in handy while teaching football. He has a good supporting crew in Sree Jayanth and Afsal K T in assistants’ roles,” he says.
Najeeb grooms children in a way that many find it useful and scientific. It is a plan that he himself draws up at home and puts into effective use at JDT Islam HS S - their training ground - every morning and evening. The results have been overwhelming, as endorsed by parents. “There is a change, and I can only talk about improvement in the way he plays football and conducts himself,” says Shabeer Kalathingal, about his son Farzan. Having produced more than 10 state-level players, the academy has started winning trophies too. Vikram Trophy, a state-level tournament held at Kallayi in 2012 followed a number of decent performances.