Every year Nike conducts an All Asia Camp where young talents from Asian countries are trained and scouted by coaches from top clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter-Milan.
This time around the camp was conducted at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar. India sent five prodigies to attend the camp. Gursimrat Singh (centre back), Rakesh Oram (winger), Milan Basumatary (striker), Bidyananda Singh (midfielder) and Dheeraj Singh (goalkeeper) attended the three day camp conducted by top coaches from Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter-Milan.On the final day of the camp, players who impressed the coaches are selected to play in an All Stars game. Gursimrat Singh and Bidyananda Singh from India were selected to play in this All-Stars match. Bidyananda Singh scored the opening goal in the match.
Bidyananda Singh, an AIFF Navi-Mumbai academy starlet further impressed the coaches and was selected as the MVP of the camp by Barcelona coaches. Bidyananda Singh who plays in a defensive midfielder role, impressed the Barcelona coaches at the camp and is reportedly to be on their radar.
Bidyananda Singh with his blonde hair was dubbed the Indian Honda while at the Aspire Academy because of his uncanny resemblance with Japanese Intentional Keisuke Honda. “They also called me that because they couldn’t pronounce my name,” said the 16-year-old to TNIE. Such opportunities for players from India will help foreign clubs and scouts to keep a tab on the talent that is available in India.
Ivan Bravo, Director General of Aspire Academy, said to The Peninsula, “We are very pleased to host young Asian footballers. The importance of the training is not only the fact that coaches from European Leagues get to identify future stars of football, but also their visit gives them a closer look at amazing sporting facilities at the academy, giving them a feel of the love in the Gulf, especially Qatar.”