Florent Malouda launches Chelsea’s fourth Asian Star appeal
Florent Malouda welcomes 20 British-Asian children to Chelsea's training ground to mark launch of Asian Star initiative
Florent Malouda welcomed 20 British-Asian children to Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on Monday to mark the launch of the Premier League club’s Asian Star initiative.
The Chelsea midfielder was joined by Pakistan international footballer Kash Siddique and Bhangra musicians Jaz Dhami and Hartinder Dhami to launch the scheme. Also in attendance was last year’s under-9s winner Sam Khan, who has since signed for Birmingham City.
After joining the practice session with the children from the Indian Gymkhana club, the stars were put through their paces by Chelsea Foundation coaches, taking part in passing, shooting and dribbling drills.
The event marked the launch of the fourth Asian Star programme, which is the first scheme of its kind ever undertaken by a professional football club and is designed to give a much-needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game.
“It’s great to see so many famous people from the Asian community getting involved in the programme and supporting this Chelsea initiative because it gives a lot of credit to the scheme and helps motivate these children,” said Malouda.
“You could see how happy the children were to be part of this programme and I was really impressed by last year’s winner Sam, he was a very good player and it was nice training with him. He’s very passionate about the game and has everything he needs to succeed.”
Asian Star 2012 will take place on Saturday 26 May at Chelsea’s training ground in Cobham for players in the under-9 to under-12 age groups.
Participants will be judged on a series of matches and tests specifically designed and used by the Chelsea Academy to examine speed, skill and ability.
Chelsea will also be inviting managers, coaches and scouts from clubs at all levels of the game to identify talented youngsters and information will also be on hand for Asian players to find clubs in their area.
The Asian Star programme has already uncovered five potential stars of the future who went on to play for professional clubs’ academies.
This year, the initiative offers players the chance to win a year-long place within the Chelsea FC Foundation’s Elite Training Centre.
Previous winners of Chelsea’s Asian Star programme
Jordan Sidhu – Jordan won the Under 13s’ category in 2009 and went on to play for Southend United Football Club.
A’ameer Kstantin Murphy – A’ameer won the Under 12s’ category in 2009 and went on to play for Leyton Orient Football Club.
Kai Bhullar – Kai won the Under 8s’ category in 2010 and went on to play for Norwich City Football Club.
Yan Dhanda – Yan won the Under 11s’ category in 2010 before going on to play for West Bromwich Albion Football Club.
Sam Khan – Sam won the Under 9s’ category in 2011 and has since signed a contract with Birmingham City Football Club.
Applications for this year’s tournament are now open, visit www.chelseafc.com/asianstar to enter.