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Blades host promising young footballers from India

10 September 2014

A long term plan to develop young footballers in India by using Sheffield United expertise is taking another big step forward this week.

Coaches and players from the Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur, the oldest and one of the biggest in India, are in Sheffield to study coaching techniques and learn new ideas from the Blades' operation on and off the field.

While here, they will meet the Lord Mayor, Coun Peter Rippon, for a reception, spend time with internationally renowned referee Howard Webb and play matches, including one against a Sheffield United XI at Bramall Lane on Tuesday 23rd September.

Since United first announced an official tie-up with the Tata Academy in 2010, Blades coach and former player Lee Walshaw and other specialists from the Club have visited India to work with the Academy's coaches and players.

In September 2013 the relationship was taken to a higher level which sees an almost constant presence in India by United staff.

Headed by International Academy Manager Gordon Young, the programme in place mirrors that being followed by the players at United's academy which has seen many develop into first team regulars, along with others playing in the Premiership and at international level.

As well as coaches, physios, strength and conditioning coaches, psychologists and nutritionists also share their expertise.

The programme helps the youngsters develop their talent and prepares them for India's Premier League.

Lee said: "It's a tremendous privilege to be able to offer our experiences and knowledge of the game from a European perspective and we're delighted that they are visiting us in Sheffield.

"They're working very hard and it will be good for our fans to have an opportunity to see how they are developing in the game against us on September 23. We have to be realistic and appreciate that as a nation India is ranked 154th in the world so we know we have a long way to go."

Admission for the match on Tuesday 23rd September, which kicks off at 7.15pm, is free.

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