KOLKATA, March 5: Having impressed in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, Jamshedpur FC forward Aniket Jadhav is set to take his next big step � a three-month training stint at English Championship football club Blackburn Rovers.
The Kolhapur-based footballer will become the first Indian professional player to train in England when he joins the Blackburn Rovers Academy at Brockhall village, Lancashire.
�For someone coming from a small place in Kolhapur, it�s a dream come true for me,� Jadhav, who played in all the three matches for hosts India at the Under-17 World Cup, told PTI before leaving for Lancashire.
�I�m looking forward to this stint. The World Cup was a big experience and this is equally big and it keeps me on track with the mission when I left home as a nine-year-old kid,� the left-footed striker said.
Having started his football journey under Jaideep Angiwal of Krida Prabodhini school in Pune, the striker was picked by Pune FC where he joined the Under-15 side before progressing to the Under-17s.
He was spotted by Nicolai Adam during an U-17 World Cup trial in Mumbai and since then he has been a constant member of the youth side.
�I would like to thank Blackburn Rovers FC for believing in me and my ability, and inviting me to train at their world class academy.�
Jadhav also thanked Balaji Rao, owner of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, his agent Jehan Kothary of KSMN sports, and Jamshedpur FC for the support.
Blackburn Rovers � one of only six champions of the Premier League alongside Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City � are owned by Venkys London Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pune-based poultry conglomerate Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group.
Owner of Blackburn Rovers, Rao said the club wants to help young Indian talent.
�Our Academy at Blackburn Rovers is one of the finest Category 1 Academy in the UK. This training stint will definitely help Aniket to develop technically as a player, which will in turn contribute to the improvement of his performances on the pitch.� � PTI