BDFA Super Division League 2020-21 champions FC Bengaluru United have appointed C. John Kenneth Raj as technical director of United Pro School & Academy. With 19 years of football coaching experience, Kenneth Raj is one of India’s most skilled youth coaches.
Kenneth Raj holds an “A” license from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has completed the FIFA Youth Training Course, as well as the Cambridge University Physical Education Course. He was assistant coach of the Indian U-16 and U-15 teams between 2012-2014. Under his tenure, the U-16 national team emerged victorious from the 2nd 2013 SAFF U-16 Championship in Nepal. He was also an assistant coach of the U-16 national team during the AFC qualifying events, held in Kuwait.
He was a coach of the U-16 U Dream Football Academy, affiliated with Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim. Before moving to Germany, Kenneth Raj, who is an AIFF C licensed coaching instructor, was also spotted for AIFF in different age groups.
Commenting on his appointment as Technical Manager of United Pro School & Academy, Kenneth Raj said he was excited about the “new challenge”. “FC Bengaluru United are committed to developing football from the ground up and that really touches me. The club’s ideology and philosophy, as well as their long-term plan reflect a deep understanding of what it takes to grow the sport at all levels. Equal importance is given to the Academy and First teams. I can’t wait to experience this trip. “
In his new role, Kenneth Raj said his focus will be “to discover and develop local talent and ensure they receive structured mentoring” in order to define an appropriate growth development path. He is also keen to put in place a “formal coach education system for our coaches to help them take their experience and skills to the next level”. Regarding the Academy’s expansion plans, Kenneth Raj said the goal would be to expand to other cities in Karnataka before considering a pan-Indian footprint.
Commenting on the new appointment, Gaurav Manchanda, founder of Nimida Sports, owner of FC Bengaluru United, said: “We are delighted to welcome John Kenneth Raj to the Bengaluru United family. He brings with him a wealth of experience, a keen sense of talent and nuanced expertise in field coaching. At Bengaluru United our aim is to contribute to the development of football as a whole and we are confident that with John as a member of our team we have further strengthened our commitment to create a truly holistic player development system.
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