GUWAHATI, March 1 � Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia believes the entire north-eastern region is full of football talents and with proper guidance and support players can be turned to stars. Bhutia, who recently retired from international football, addressing a press conference here today with Gaurav Gogoi and Assam Football Association secretary Ankur Dutta here today, said he is now ready to promote football in Assam along with other north-eastern States.
He hoped, like Manipur and Mizoram, Assam will also be able to produce international footballers soon if proper planning is adopted. Bhutia, who is in Nagaon for a series of friendly matches, advocated hosting soccer friendlies. He said seeing leading players in action youngsters could learn a lot. He also opined that, setting up a football academy is mandatory in order to nurture the talents. Bhutia also said the academies have to tie up with clubs so that the talented players can expose their potentialities through their clubs. He also praised State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain for organising a series of friendly football matches in Nagaon among the leading teams of the country.
Gaurav Gogoi, son of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, while addressing the mediapersons said he is very much interested in the uplift of games and sports in the State.
Gogoi said he in his personal capacity will extend a helping hand to the sports organisations so that the talents could be unearthed and nurtured properly. He said he loves the game of football very much and hoped with proper guidance to youngsters, Assam will be able to produce good teams.
Friendly match: I-League outfit Pailon Arrows of Kolkata will take on Green Valley Sports Club in an exhibition football match at SAI New Field complex ground here tomorrow. Informing this in the press conference, AFA secretary Ankur Dutta said the Kolkata team will reach here from Nagaon and the match will start at 2.30 pm. The match has been organised as a part of promotional venture of the game in the State.