Every year, players from the Academy are picked up by different clubs, Army and Sikkim Police and in this process, their seats fall vacant. To fill these seats, the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs, which manages the programme, conducts selection trails every year. The Academy has a prescribed strength of 30 players.
This year, the Department is conducting the selection trials on 25 and 26 February at Paljor Stadium, where the SSA hostel is also housed.
Sports & Youth Affairs Deputy Director [Coaching], Thupden Rapgyal, mentions that at present the Academy has 27 players in residence since three were recently taken by the Army. Meanwhile, a few others, who were also already selected by the Army, will be going after their class XII board examinations later this year. “In the process, vacancies have opened up at the SSA for which the department is conducting this selection trial like every year,” he explained.
The first criteria at attend the selection trails is for the prospective candidates to have been born between 1998 and 2000 and to be currently studying in class VIII, IX or XII. Parents of the candidates should posses Sikkim Subject Certificates or Certificates of Identification.
Mr. Rapgyal highlighted that there will be no any selection trials at the district level and no TA or DA will be provided to the prospective candidates. A five-member neutral committee has been formed for the selections.
“After the selection process, a merit list of the players will be prepared and the required players in the academy will be fulfilled on the basis of that merit list,” he explained.
Last year, 430 candidates from across the State attended the selection trial. From them, 15 were taken into the Academy.
SSA is providing accommodation in the hostel at Paljor Stadium, meals and education at government schools in Gangtok. At present, the academy players are getting coaching from Puspa Gurung and Milan Singh.