ISL 2021-22: Hyderabad FC entered into a historic partnership with Borussia Dortmund last year with a focus on grassroots football and it is safe to say that the two teams remain committed to the project. One of the most exciting franchises in the Indian Super League, Hyderabad FC have caught the eye with their penchant to develop youth and almost made it to the playoffs last time out. And team’s co-owner Varun Tripuraneni along with Dortmund colleagues Benedikt Scholz and Suresh Letchmanan said that the focus of the partnership will be to take advantage of Dortmund’s expertise in grassroots development and coaching education.
Hyderabad FC x Dortmund partnership:
Speaking during a media interaction, Varun Tripuraneni said that in an ideal scenario, coaches from Dortmund would have visited the team and the Hyderabad FC academy before making suggestions on how the franchiser could maximise their potential. But due to Covid restrictions, things did not pan out.
“The focus at least in the initial years is on a grassroots level. One of the important focus areas is coach education which extremely critical. We are a club that is trying to set up a grassroots program and youth teams and wanted to get it right from the beginning, which is one of the crucial aspects of this partnership. Coach education is an important aspect and hopefully, many young coaches will come through the BVB coaching initiatives,” Varun Tripuraneni said.
Varun Tripuraneni further added, “I think the focus like Dortmund was to build homegrown talent and we wanted to build that sort of philosophy. It is amazing that we could partner with a club like BVB and again just going forward, these are the sort of things that we would like to learn directly from them, but will only be possible when the senior management, coaching staff are in Dortmund learning from the experts on how they did.”
ISL 2021-22: Benedikt Scholz, the Head of International / Commercial & New Business at Borussia Dortmund, said that plans were in place for a “legends team” to visit India and play a game but those were disrupted amidst the pandemic. Scholz added that partnership was more of a buffet, with both parties taking things on their plate as cultures and plans were exchanged.
Scholz said, “We are about to set up a digital academy in order to serve our partners better and to give them access to certain exercises, tactical and technical issues of the game. The platform could even be used by the coaches at Hyderabad for their planning and daily coaching. This is a specific initiative to be able to support Hyderabad FC. However, this isn’t about teaching, but it is rather about exchanging information.”
Speaking on Hyderabad’s performance in the Indian Super League (ISL), Suresh Letchmanan, the Managing Director Asia Pacific at Borussia Dortmund, said that he was excited to see the new signings made by the club, with Hyderabad FC sealing deals for Bartholomew Ogbeche and Edu Garcia. He added that the franchise is well prepared to take a shot at the title and should make the playoffs at least.
ISL 2021-22: He said, “Varun and his team had a quick turnaround before putting up a team for the 19/20 season so it’s not fair to judge on the first season. I think the second season was respectable in its sense and played reasonably well but missed the playoff by two points. Now with these signings of Eduardo Garcia and Bartholomew Ogbeche, I am sure that Hyderabad FC will push the other clubs and make it as close to winning the title and get to the playoffs. Looking at the chances you had last season and after learning from it, I am sure this season will be better and will perform much better than they did last season.”