Sreenidi Deccan FC on Sunday, October 29 announced a technical partnership deal with Portuguese giants SL Benfica. This ambitious long-term project aims to provide training, using SL Benfica’s methodology, for young athletes aged between 6 and 18.
The attendees included Sreenidhi Educational Group Chairman Dr. KT Mahhe, All India Football Federation president and Indian Olympic Association CEO & Secretary General Kalyan Chaubey, Telangana Football Association General Secretary GP Palguna, Sreenidhi Institute of Technology CEO Abhijeet Rao and SDFC Chief Football Officer Fabio Ferreira. SL Benfica was represented by Miguel Reis, global expansion coordinator, and Davide Gomes, international project manager.
Sreenidhi Educational Group Chairman Dr. K T Mahhe said, “This is a big milestone in a journey we began in 2015. It reaffirms our commitment to the continued development of football in India and Telangana. By aligning with a brand as big as SL Benfica, we hope to carry on the Sreenidhi legacy of excellence.”
At the presentation of the partnership, SDFC Chief Football Officer Fabio Ferreira said: “This collaboration is not just a convergence of two top football clubs at their respective geographical areas, but a testament to our shared values of innovation, excellence, and the continuing pursuit of perfection. We see this partnership as an exciting opportunity to combine SL Benfica’s footballing expertise with our world class facilities to elevate the quality of our football programs, and Indian football both on and off the pitch.”
“Our shared vision is clear: to push the boundaries of what’s possible and set new standards for the future of Indian football,” he added.
The SL Benfica Football Game Teaching Model focuses on the co-ordination between two age categories – Initiation (U7 to U13) and Specialization (U15 to U19). The partnership includes Player Development Support Programs which cater to Strength & Conditioning, Nutrition and Psychology among others. There will also be a Coach Education Programme between Sreenidi Deccan FC and SL Benfica. A dedicated technical staff member from SLBenfica has also taken on the role of Head of Youth Development at Sreenidi Deccan FC.
“This alliance has been facilitated by Sreenidi Deccan FC’s visionary approach over the years to partner with leading European football clubs, aiming to enhance the skills of their promising youth academy players. Both our clubs are bound by a common vision: to nurture players to compete at the highest level, and our ethos is centred on developing athletes to win,” said Miguel Reis, global expansion coordinator for SL Benfica.
“SL Benfica is founded on the belief that where there are people, there is talent waiting to be discovered. Being present at the origin allows us to identify and cultivate this talent. While we recognize the journey ahead is extensive, we are optimistic. We anticipate that adopting the Benfica methodology will elevate the football standards in India, a nation where enthusiasm for the sport is noticeably growing. We are confident in our capability to identify, nurture, and eventually unveil football prodigies Made in Benfica, Made in India.” said Davide Gomes, international project manager.
The SL Benfica delegation visited the facilities of Sreenidi Deccan FC and attended the Deccan Warriors’ 2023-24 I-League season opener against NEROCA FC.
SL Benfica are 2-time European Cup champions and record 38-time Portuguese League winners. They have also produced 1 Ballon d’Or winner in Eusebio (1965). Their recent great players include current Club President Manuel Rui Costa, Simao Sabrosa, Nuno Gomes, Luisao, Angel di Maria and Darwin Nunez.
Sreenidi Deccan Football Club (SDFC) is part of Sreenidhi Educational Group which also includes Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology, Sreenidhi International School, KMR Foundation and Sreenidhi Sports Academy.