Unilever Bangladesh has organised the second edition of the Clear Men’s U-17 Football Championship, which will take place across the country from September 15, following the impressive turnout of school teams which made the inaugural edition such a success last year.
Throughout the course of the competition, a selection panel will select six footballers -- a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker and two wingers -- who will get the opportunity to attend a week-long training camp at Manchester City Club ground. In addition, the six lucky booters will get to watch the current English Premier League champions, Manchester City, in action at their home venue, the Etihad Stadium.
With 272 schools from across the country in participation, the first round of the championship, which will be played on a knockout basis through the Khulna and Rangpur Divisions while it will end through the Mymensingh and Dhaka Divisions on October 18. The 16-team final round will begin on October 22 while the tournament final is set to take place on October 30.
This announcement was made at a city hotel yesterday with some of the footballers who participated in the first edition in attendance. Jogen Larka, a striker of defending champions Sonadighi High School of Rajshahi, was one of the few who came forward to talk about his experiences on the occasion. It should be mentioned that the grade-11 student recently visited Brazil, where he underwent a one-month training programme.
“When we started this championship last year, we didn’t know whether we would be successful or could contribute to Bangladesh football but it was a life-changing experience as the tournament turned into an pure entertainment with a lot of spectators watching each of the matches,” said Nafees Anwar, marketing director of the personal care unit of Unilever Bangladesh during the jersey unveiling and press meet yesterday.
Anwar added that fashion house Sailor and Chinese mobile manufacture Tecno are involved with the tournament.
Rezwanul Hue, a representative of Tecno and Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin were among others present on the occasion.