This former Santosh Trophy player hung up his boots a long time ago, but his passion for football has transformed him into a coach and mentor for many youngsters over the years. Walter Antony, 53, who enjoyed a highly successful career in football, founded an academy in 2013 in Eloor, Kerala to train young players. Starting with just 25 players, it has now become a powerhouse for moulding skilled players.
Walter started Future Football Academy because he wanted to give back to the sport that had given him so much. The academy’s primary mission is to nurture young football talent from diverse backgrounds, providing them with opportunities they may not have otherwise had. Walter believes that football is a powerful tool for personal development, fostering teamwork, discipline, and confidence among youngsters. Since 2013, Walter and his team have produced some of the finest young players who are now playing for leading clubs in India.
Walter feels that for a youngster to excel in the game of football, one needs to have discipline in life and put in their best efforts to hone their skills. “The kids develop discipline and grow into responsible and respectful individuals on and off the field,” he said.
Under Walter’s guidance, the young players at the academy have shown remarkable progress, and several of them have been scouted by professional clubs. For Walter, success isn’t just about producing the next generation of football stars; it’s about giving children an opportunity to dream, learn, and grow. As a former footballer who understands the pressures and challenges of the game, Walter imparts not only football knowledge but also the wisdom gained from his own experiences, helping these children navigate the ups and downs of the life.
(This article is written by journalism student Arjun A of St Albert’s College, Ernakulam as part of our Youth Skill Development Initiative organised in association with St Albert’s College and Global Educational Consultants)