In terms of Academy expansion, Kenneth Raj said the goal is to expand to other cities in Karnataka before looking at a pan-India footprint.
BDFA Super Division League 2020-21 champions FC Bengaluru United have appointed C. John Kenneth Raj as Technical Head of the United Pro School & Academy. Kenneth Raj is among India’s most qualified Youth Coaches with 19 years of experience in football coaching. He holds the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) ‘A’ License. Kenneth Raj has further completed the FIFA Youth Coaching course as well as a course in Physical Education from the University of Cambridge. He was the Assistant Coach for the India U-16 and U-15 teams between 2012 and 2014, with the former emerging victorious in the 2nd SAFF U-16 Championship 2013 in Nepal. Kenneth Raj was also an Assistant Coach for the U-16 National Team during the AFC Qualifying rounds, which were held in Kuwait.
Not only this, his involvement even extends to the U-16 Dream Football Academy. The academy is affiliated to Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim. Kenneth Raj further scouted for the AIFF across various age groups previously.
“FC Bengaluru United are committed to growing football from the grassroots level and this really resonates with me. The club ideology and philosophy, as well as their long-term plan reflect a deep understanding of what it takes to grow the sport at every level. Equal emphasis is given to the Academy and First teams. I am really looking forward to this journey,” said Kenneth Raj in an interaction with the club’s official website.
He is also keen to establish a “formal coaching education system for our coaches to help them take their experience and skill to the next level”.
Commenting on the new appointment, Gaurav Manchanda, founder, Nimida Sports, who own FC Bengaluru United, said, “We are delighted to welcome John Kenneth Raj to the Bengaluru United family. He brings with him a wealth of experience, a keen eye for talent and a nuanced expertise in grassroots coaching. At Bengaluru United, it is our goal to contribute towards the development of the overall game of football and we are confident that with John as part of our team, we have further strengthened our commitment to creating a truly holistic player development system.”