Chelsea search for Asian Star continues with enthusiasm

Chelsea FC’s Cobham training facility played host to its fifth consecutive Asian Star event on Monday.

The groundbreaking initiative, designed to promote participation in football in the Asian community, saw youngsters compete for a prized year-long football development placement.

The programme of events, which also featured workshops for aspiring Asian coaches, saw almost 400 boys participate in trials for age categories ranging from Under-9s to Under-12s.

Staged by the Chelsea Foundation, the event enjoyed support from a number of organisations aimed at promoting inclusion and equality in sport.

Head of the Foundation, Simon Taylor, said: “I think it’s really important that organisations get involved. I think we’re all looking for the same thing which is more Asian participation, not just in professional football, but in grassroots football as well, so by combining forces I think we make a better and stronger event.”

Taylor felt the event had been a resounding success and was impressed by the quality demonstrated by the participants.

“I think it’s the best one yet,” he said. “There was a real buzz around the place, the talent was better than any other year and I think the parents help make the atmosphere by staying and supporting their children as well.”

The winners were awarded trophies by Northampton Town and former Pakistani international footballer Kash Siddiqi, Asian businessman Peter Virdee and 2011 Asian Star winner Sam Khan.

Khan is now a member Birmingham City’s Football Academy and Taylor was full of praise for the youngster from Coventry.

“Sam is just such a nice boy. If anybody deserves to make it as a footballer then it’s him,” said Taylor.

“A lot of kids look up to him because he has come through the Asian Star and he’s gone on to bigger and better things, and like all the winners who have gone on to academies it shows that the hard work and dedication can pay off.”

2013 Asian Star Winners in Full: (These names may one day be famous...)

Under-9 – Musa Qureshi

Under-10 – Marco Randhawa

Under-11 – Muhaymin Hoque

Under-12 – Paras Gill

image: © Free-ers

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