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FC Madras unveils a world-class residential football academy at Mahabalipuram, near Chennai

Youth football academy offers talented footballers a full scholarship to a holistic program integrating football, education and life skills


Chennai, India, March 18th, 2023 – FC Madras, a new age football academy with a mission to create champions for life, today unveiled a world-class football facility at Mahabalipuram, near Chennai. The new ‘Home of FC Madras’ is built to FIFA standards, specified by the AIFF (All India Football Federation) and AFC (Asian football Confederation). The pristine 23 acre integrated campus houses state-of-the-art floodlit football pitches including East Asia’s first Hybrid Pitch, a functional strength and conditioning center, medical and recovery facilities, an indoor international-standard futsal pitch, a six-lane swimming pool, a residential hostel with a modern kitchen and dining facilities and an alternate learning center following the NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) curriculum.

The academy has made a long-term commitment towards talent development and aims to provide a unique blend of world-class football infrastructure, a methodology covering football, education and life skills. The residential facility can accommodate up to 130 athletes and meet their training, housing and learning needs.

FC Madras offers a scholarship program for talented young footballers selected through a rigorous nation-wide scouting program. The aim of the academy is to be one of the best finishing schools for football in India which will produce players who will represent India internationally and make the nation proud.


“The dream is to find the next Messi from Madras,” said Girish Mathrubootham, Founder of FC Madras. “Our country has amazing young sporting talent that deserve success, but need the infrastructure, environment and opportunity to unlock their true potential. It is encouraging to see the government and private companies take a bigger interest in sports and its infrastructure, and with the new FC Madras campus, I believe we have taken another step forward to inspire other leaders and businesses to create similar academies because our future champions need it.”

“FC Madras will be India’s first ‘smart football academy’ blending the must-haves of global football academy practices and technological advancements in sports technology: data analytics, video analysis, sports science and optimal performance based sports nutrition for our athletes,” said Dhananjai CKM (aka DJ), the Director of Sports & Governance at FC Madras.


A world-class sports professional from Chennai, DJ has 18+ years of experience in data-driven decision making in sport and high-performance management of athletes. He currently heads the data and performance vertical of Mumbai Indians, the IPL’s (Indian Premier League) most successful team and has been involved with the franchise since inception. DJ’s association with the Indian cricket team is well known and spans over a decade of working with the best of the best. He is also the Indian cricket team’s most successful data coach and was an integral part of the three ICC World Title winning Indian cricket teams (T20 World Cup 2007, Cricket World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013).


“Sport as a career was previously considered taboo in India. The time has come for India to build a sporting infrastructure that can act as a finishing school for sports, just like the IITs, IIMs and other premier educational institutions are producing the business and tech leaders of our country. There are very few residential youth academies in the country which combine football, academics, character development and social responsibility. Investments in tech-enabled sports academies like FC Madras will produce next-generation smart athletes for India,” added DJ who has been instrumental in the planning and development of the new facility.


Abhishek Yadav, former Deputy General Secretary of the AIFF and the former Captain of the Indian National Football Team will be joining as the CEO of FC Madras. Venkatesh Shanmugan, a former Captain of the Indian national football team, former Assistant Coach of the Indian National Football team and former head coach of the India U20 team, will be joining FC Madras as the new Technical Director of Football, after his current stint with East Bengal FC. Dr. CN Narayana has been appointed as the Director of Education & Life Skills.


To build sustainability in operations and to encourage community participation, FC Madras will introduce summer camps, weekend programs, corporate events and membership programs.


Celebrities including ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth, cricketers including R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and top football stars like Sana Singh – Hyderabad FC, Rahul Beke – Indian National team player and Captain – Mumbai City FC, Akash Mishra – Hyderabad FC, Anirudh Thapa – Indian National team player and Captain – Chennaiyin FC and Sandesh Jhingan – Indian National team player and Bengaluru FC shared their wishes for the club and the young players, virtually via video.


FC Madras will start enrollment soon. For more details, visit https://www.fcmadras.com/

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