Reliance Foundation Young Champs convert dreams to reality by signing professional contracts

12 RFYC graduates from the 2023 batch make a mark by signing contracts with Indian football clubs

Mumbai, 2nd November 2023: The Reliance Foundation Young Champs Academy (RFYC) has been instrumental in helping young footballers in India realize their football dreams by providing a holistic development approach both on and off the pitch. The program has seen significant success with 12 of its graduates signing professional contracts with various Indian football clubs in 2023. Click here to see the class of 2023.

“Signing professional contracts is the first big step in a player’s career, and RFYC is proud to have been able to help these athletes reach this stage.  We are proud of all our graduates, and look forward to seeing everything they go on to achieve.” said a Reliance Foundation Spokesperson.

RFYC and its continued impact on Indian football shine through with the stories of these 12 players. It not only indicates a bright future for the sport in the country, but also the role that RFYC is playing in shaping the same. 

  • Nathan Rodrigues and Franklin Nazareth signed up with the first-team of Mumbai City FC in the summer. Nathan is a towering defender whose indomitable spirit reflects his incredible determination in coming back from a serious knee injury that kept him on the sidelines last season. On the other hand, Franklin is touted to be a quintessential No. 6 with inbred leadership qualities. His defensive traits are complemented with his widespread passing range that makes him a creative outlet at the centre of the park. ( )
  • Mohammed Sanan added to the illustrious list of RFYC graduates joining Indian Super League (ISL) outfit, as he secured a three-year-long contract with the first-team of Jamshedpur FC in August. The 19-year-old forward, hailing from Kerala, has appeared in all of the Red Miners’ games in the league this season, giving a terrific testament to his talent and immediate readiness in adapting to the rigours of the first-team. ( )
  • Six graduates, Ranit Sarkar (East Bengal FC reserves), Bunando Singh (East Bengal FC reserves), Razibul Mistry (East Bengal FC reserves), Vian Murgod (Mohun Bagan Super Giant reserves), Rashid Cherukad (Bengaluru FC reserves), and Shivaldo Singh (Bengaluru FC reserves) have bagged deals amongst different teams in the ISL. 
  • Amongst these, Shivaldo used to lead the RFYC U-19 team, earmarked as a leader from the heart of the defence. Heis a defender who can play across the backline. Hailing from Manipur, he possesses strong leadership skills to compliment his talents on the field.
  • Bunando Singh recorded impressive performances in the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) earlier this year and that earned him a move to the Red & Gold Brigade. Accompanying him in the Kolkata-based club are Ranit, and Razibul, both of whom grew up idolising footballers in West Bengal. Ranit has emerged as a standout talent during his time in the RFYC because of his impressive shot-stopping skills and work ethic, while Razibul has been raised for his electrifying speed, agile footwork, and innate ability to create scoring opportunities.
  • Rashid is a versatile midfielder, capable of playing across the centre of the field, who joined the Bengaluru FC reserves. He has already begun earning his stripes by recording fine performances in the Bengaluru Super Division. The Mariners have picked up Pune-born striker Vian, who is known for his incredible nack of finding the back of the net. He is well versed with the demands of modern-day football and is an equally capable playmaker too, adding a unique dimension to his Attacking arsenal.
  • I-League will witness the remarkable potential of the RFYC from the coming campaign too. Two graduates, Chirag Bhujel (Rajasthan United)and Surdas Meitei (Rajasthan United), will ply their trade in the second-tier football competition. Bhujel is a dynamic winger with searing pace and tremendous efficiency in front of the goal. His exploits on the flank will be closely tracked by clubs across the country. Surdas blends powerful physique with a wonderful eye for a pass. His ability to split    defences with his deliveries from the middle of the park makes him an exciting prospect to watch out for. 
  • Alex Konthoujam signed up with Kodagu FC in the Bengaluru Super Division. He is an attacker blessed with tearaway pace, quick footwork, and equally stunning goal-scoring vision. He can shuffle across the frontline and will be hoping to move up the ranks by delivering impactful performances for Kodagu.
  • Additionally, twins, Aarush Kamath and Avaneesh Kamath, have bagged a two-year-long full scholarship each at the Louisiana State University (EUNICE) with a Business Major. Aarush plays as a left back whereas Avaneesh plays on the right side of the defensive line. They played critical roles in RFYC’s qualification in the RFDL this year and were part of the U19 team that finished runners up in the MFA Super Division League. 

RFYC has had 15 players sign professional contracts from its first two graduating batches (14 ISL players + 1 I League player) including the likes of Ayush Chhikara (MCFC), Muhammed Nemil (FCG), Thoi Singh (NEUFC), amongst others.

The success of RFYC graduates in securing professional contracts demonstrates the positive impact and role that RFYC is playing in Indian football. RFYC has not only nurtured talent but also prepared these young athletes for the rigors of professional football. The program has become a significant contributor to the development of Indian football, with numerous players making their mark in the Indian Super League and I-League. Moreover, RFYC’s partnership with Mizoram Football Association to expand grassroots football is a testament to its commitment to developing football talent at the grassroots level.

About RFYC:

The Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) academy launched in May 2015 with the vision of identifying talented young footballers and providing them an environment of excellence to unlock their potential both on and off the pitch. Supported entirely by the Reliance Foundation, each year RFYC offers fully funded scholarships to young talents from across the country following a comprehensive yearlong scouting process. For more information on RFYC initiatives please go to

Each year, the academy offers full scholarships to the country’s best aspiring football talents at the U14 level, selected through a pan-India scouting drive. With an equal focus on academics and sports, RYFC offers a holistic environment to youngsters to hone their skills amid world class facilities and relentless training from accomplished staff and sports leaders.

About Reliance Foundation Sports:

Reliance Foundation celebrates the spirit of sports – joy, health, grit, determination, winning, and losing. And works to ensure that more and more children and youth from all sections of society can play sports and, in the process, build a fitter, stronger and more active India. Our initiatives have touched the lives of over 21.5 million young people since 2013 across the country from 13,000+ schools and colleges, enabling an opportunity for a talented kid anywhere to be able to achieve their dream of a career/glory in sports. We are especially committed to ensuring more presence and success of girl girls and women athletes in India and design our programs manner that offers them maximum opportunities. At Reliance Foundation, we hope to be the wind beneath the wings of Indian sportspersons and help them reach their true potential.

Also Read: Mumbai Premier League begins: MH Oranje FC, Kalina Rangers CFF, and MYJ-GMSC Clinch wins

Also Read: IoT continues unbeaten streak with 7-1 triumph over Young Guns FC

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian Football.

India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…