Jamshedpur FC will be hosting its second edition of the Jamshedpur Golden Baby League from 26 February 2023 in conjunction with the Jharkhand Football Association (JFA) and the Jamshedpur Sporting Association (JSA). This will be India’s longest baby league tournament spread over 10 months with participation from over 100 teams.
The league will begin on Sunday, 26 February at the JRD Tata Sports Complex Archery Field in Jamshedpur and will consist of 500 players actively involved each weekend, playing at least 40 games during the seasons.
The age groups of U5, U7, U9, U11 and U13 will be represented in the Baby League with 21 teams minimum taking part in each of the aforementioned categories.
The league will include participants from the grassroot football schools affiliated with Jamshedpur FC, such as Loyola School, Carmel School and Hill Top School, as well as other teams from across the city.
“Grassroot leagues like the Baby League are one part of the development process, which completes the overall development of kids, and puts the kids into experimental learning. They get educated by doing it and learn better decision making not just on the pitch, but also in life,” said Jamshedpur FC Head of Grassroots, Kundan Chandra.
The first ever Golden Baby League tournament conducted by Jamshedpur FC started on February 8 2020, and while it was supposed to continue till May 2020, it was brought to an abrupt halt in February due to the emergence of the COVID-19 virus.
The tournament is now back and bigger than ever, with various playing formats incorporated within the different age categories.
A 3v3 format will be in place for the U5 category, a 5v5 format for the U7 category, 7v7 with a goalkeeper for the U9 category and a 9v9 format with a keeper for the U11 category.
“The Golden Baby League is like an examination for the kids from our grassroots school,” said Jamshedpur FC Grassroots Coach Arshad Hussain.
“We train them every week and help them with various drills so that when they get an opportunity to showcase their skills in tournaments such as these, they are ready for the challenge.”
The tournament is designed by Jamshedpur FC to be a long-term player development initiative that aims to grow a new generation of players, boys, and girls, that start playing football from a very young age.
The project envisages that children get exposure to an age-appropriate number of games and playing formats as they grow older. The Jamshedpur Golden Baby League is aimed for all stakeholders of Indian Football who are engaged with children within this age group, be it clubs, academies, schools, non-government organisations, parents, coaches and football fans. The league aims to provide access to football in the children's locality irrespective of gender, religion, economic background or ethnic origin.
“Jamshedpur FC and Tata Steel, through the Tata Football Academy, have always contributed to the development of football and this is another step in the right direction,”said Jamshedpur FC CEO Mukul Choudhari.
“I am glad that the Jamshedpur Golden Baby League has restarted after such a long lay-off as it will provide the kids from our grassroots football schools a platform to show what they have learned. I wish all the participants the very best of luck.”
Five academy players from the Jamshedpur FC youth teams will volunteer each weekend to be referees along with ten players from Tinplate Feeder Centre in Jamshedpur to officiate matches in the league. There will be medical personnel at the venue for first aid, treatment and recovery during the course of the tournament.
The tournament will begin at 9 AM on 26 February 2023 at the Archery ground at JRD Tata Sports Complex. The club wishes all the participants the very best of luck for the tournament.