Leicester and Arsenal boys enjoy Indian adventure

13 Mar 2019

Academy youngsters benefit from unforgettable cultural experience in Mumbai as part of Football Development Week

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For the Under-14 Academy players from Arsenal and Leicester City the trip to Mumbai for the Football Development Week with the Premier League and the Indian Super League (ISL) gave them an experience they will never forget.

As well as playing local Indian counterparts to test the development of players on each side, the English boys enjoyed a unique cultural experience.

They went to see how Premier Skills coaching sessions are creating the next generation of footballers, both male and female, in India.

They also visited the Oscar Foundation to learn how it uses football to inspire youngsters in underprivileged homes. And the Arsenal and Leicester players visited such homes to see for themselves the challenges people in different countries face. 

Perspective given

"It was really nice to see kids from two completely different worlds just have fun together despite the completely different perspectives and different life challenges they've both got," said Alex Hepton, safeguarding officer at Arsenal.

"I hope it's given our boys a lot of perspective. It's certainly given me that."

As a former professional player in the Premier League, Les Ferdinand understands the importance that Academy players are exposed to the worlds they are visiting and so was pleased to see the boys education being broadened while in Mumbai.

"When they go somewhere and see how other people live, it's a real eye-opener," said Ferdinand, now the director of football at Queens Park Rangers.

"I think it's a good life skill that they've learnt this week."

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