Dimapur: Bhaichung 11 USFC, featuring former Indian football team captains Bhaichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh, and Western Sumi Sports Association (WSSA) 11 played an exhibition match to encourage and motivate the grassroots Naga players to develop football in Nagaland at Dimapur District Sports Complex on Friday.

Organised by the WSSA under the theme “Match for a Cause”, the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

The WSSA on Friday said both Bhutia and Renedy had agreed to become its advisers and assured support to identified talents for trials in Indian football clubs.

The event was powered by Atoqa Tea factory (North East Brews Nagaland Premium Tea) and YouthNet Event managed by Musik-A Events.

Bhaichung 11 are also scheduled to play friendly matches in Chumukedima and Niuland districts.

Bhaichung attended the 14th Sumi Hoho Trophy in Suruhoto town in Zunheboto district on March 9.

Founder and chair of YouthNet Hekani Jakhalu Kense, in her opening remark before the match, said the objective of the exhibition match was to create a corpus fund to help identify and train 11 football coaches who will organise U-14 teams in targeted cluster villages in the state.

These U-14 teams will then be sent for trials to various professional football clubs in the country, she said. 

Kense said this initiative will help nurture young talents especially in the villages and rural areas by giving them the platform to grow professionally.

The pilot project will be under the guidance of Bhutia and Renedy Singh.

A penalty shootout was also organized at the break of the match between Wing Commander S Akheto Jakhalu Team and Bhaichung Bhutia Team in aid of Bhaichung Bhutia Project Corpus Fund where the amount of Rs 50,000 was contributed by the WSSA members.

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