EBSM is providing a fantastic infrastructure and coaches in Germany. The environment in which my boy is getting trained is heaven on earth. Highlight of the training is individual attention given at DFI.
My boy went at the age of 12, I was really worried initially how my son will adapt to a different world which he never experienced before. When I called Nikhil during his trail stint in Germany he mentioned that he misses the family and Indian food. However, he expressed that these sacrifices are worth every bit as what he is getting in return is wonderful, in terms of training quality, football pitches, tournaments, quality of food, accommodation and more. He said: “I love to learn football in Germany.”
Nikhil said Eric looks after him very well. I need to thank Eric for making him feel good, though he his 7000 miles away from us, and once again thanks for giving such fantastic atmosphere.
The biggest surprise I had, when Eric called me to Germany, this feeling can´t be expressed, this needs to be experienced. Wow!!!
What an infrastructure in Germany, in India even big clubs don't have it. I never expected or thought that I would be able to provide my son with this level of that high standard of infrastructure & training. I would say Nikhil is blessed to have it, and I need to thank Eric for providing him with this wonderful lifetime opportunity. It’s not just about football, the education system in Germany is second to none in the world.
I am very sure in coming years Eric is going to make India proud for his great work.
Eric & team, keep up your good work. I am confident one day my son will make us all proud.
Indian Football is still in its Developing phase and footballers from small cities have to struggle hard to be noticed. After being a part of the AIFF elite academy, nothing was planned or certain. During this period I got an opportunity to go to FC Metz thanks to Mr. Eric Benny. Playing at the Ligue 1 club in France was a dream come true. A budding football player couldn't have asked for a better platform to prove himself at that point in his career.
Working with Mr. Eric Benny was a great pleasure. His helpful and polite attitude goes on to show that he is in this business to promote talent and he will go out of his way for doing that. His experience and track record shows his contribution to the games welfare. I am sure there are hundreds who would want to thank him and I would like take this opportunity to express my gratitude on behalf of all such players who got the opportunity to work with him. I wish him the very best for the future and hope he continuous to do good work for a long time so that budding players like me get the opportunity to work with such and experienced and knowledgeable person like him. I sure look forward to work with him again in the future.
As a family, we believe that a child's growth is very reflective of their environment. After meeting Eric and later visiting the facility, we trust that DFI is the ideal environment for a footballer to flourish.
The hands on and interactive training sessions impressed us. The coaches are friendly as well as task masters and their staff warm. Though we have only joined The DFI family recently, we trust it will be a long & strong relationship.
Sarojini Thiru (M/O T.S. Pragithyan)
Having found my son's passion for playing football from a young age of 10, we as parents weren't very sure how to guide him because I never played football. Growing up in the 70s & 80s cricket is what I was used to as a sport like many other of my generation. He wanted to go to an international level competition with football and that was his dream which then became ours too. We encouraged him through school and he did not disappoint us. The big moment came for us when he was picked for a potential talent pool with the Under-17 team of Chennaiyin FC but the bigger moment came when renowned and established former players like Mr. Eric Benny scouted him to go train in Germany. We were skeptical at first in sending him because he was very young, never stayed out of home for that long never in a foreign land where he did not know the language and that which had weather which he was never used to.
But it was Germany, a country most passionate about football in the world – Germany, was a dream come true for our son. So, we put our faith in Eric and sent him on his way for an experience he would cherish for life.
He came back transformed from a young boy to a young man. His outlook changed, his temperament changed, he was more focused and disciplined. He was more dedicated around fitness and nutrition. He came back a well-rounded individual who was ready to compete in every sphere of life. He knew to sort through his priorities and as a teenager knew which ones to ignore. We are very happy to have sent him to train with a multinational crew and amongst equally talented and passionate players from around the world. I wish every child who has a passion for the game gets to experience DFI like our son did and hoping that he would be able to pursue his passion in adding to the games' glory.
My wife and I would like to thank Mr. Eric Benny & the entire crew at DFI for making our son a better individual and a more competitive & complete athlete.
Thanks to FC Metz Football Academy and Eric Benny. Smarna’s dream of playing professional football is alive. In fields of mostly boys, my daughter Smarna (15 years) wanted to pursue football against odds. I knew that she had an overwhelming desire to play football and had reasonable skills, however if she wanted to pursue football as a profession, the rigor in the peer groups in India was not going to be enough. After three years in football academies in India, it was time to look abroad to reach her full potential.
FC Metz Football Academy with a great pedigree for preparing girls for professional football was a great place to start for Smarna. The football academy has great facilities and fantastic coaches who are well versed to work with the girls and are used to seeing players from all around the world. Eric Benny has been a great mentor in identifying her talent and guiding her to move out of India and into a more formal learning process. Though a bit difficult being away from the family at a young age, it is an ideal environment that minimizes distractions while playing with and against strong peers.
Smarna’s confidence has improved just within the first month, mostly as a result of her ball control getting better. Working with the experienced coaches at FC Metz, Smarna is improving her overall game, which includes speed, stamina and technique. I am very pleased with the results and want to thank the Metz Academy, the staff and Eric for working closely with Smarna and guiding her to realizing her full potential.
John S Ravela
Tanvi's trip to Metz last summer was an amazing experience. The experience gave Tanvi a glimpse of life at a pro football club while being in a rustic place like Metz. The living arrangements were perfect with host families, who were chosen carefully to support the program schedules and needs. Tanvi came back hungrier to improve herself and work harder. The several one on one training sessions and game experience with other kids at Metz helped Tanvi get a feel for where she stands and what her areas of improvement are.
Overall, an awesome experience for Tanvi made possible by Eric Benny. She is already looking forward to her trip next year!
Aravind Ganapathi Raju
It was a wonderful opportunity for my son, Shaliyanth Reddy, to have joined DFI through Mr. Eric Benny; who has been at the leading edge of Indian football by providing a platform for young talented players to further develop their skills on a bigger stage. After visiting DFI my wife and I are extremely happy with the well experienced coaches, the training and boarding facilities and the safe environment. It was a great moment to watch young players from India train with young players from Germany and other different nationalities, and to see them get exposed to international football.
Best of luck to Eric Benny and DFI and congratulations for providing this great opportunity for Indian football players to further their footballing aspirations.
M S Reddy
EBSM has given my daughter Ritika, a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue her passion in football and that too in an European club. It's her dream come true! She first went to FC METZ for the short-term program in May, 2017 and we accompanied her and were very impressed with the facilities, the training and also how safe the place was.
Currently she is training in Metz for a long-term program and is well settled. She moves around the city on her own (something she cannot do here in Bangalore), speaks fair bit of french (thanks to the french lessons). She is very happy spending weekends with her french host family and says, "its her home away from home".
I have worked with Eric Benny for the last three years in my role as Technical Director for the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Eric was instrumental in establishing a relationship between AIFF and FC Metz, which lead to both parties signing an MOU that included opportunities for our young Academy players to train at FC Metz. The MOU also included possible coach exchanges and coach education programs etc. The way FC Metz looked after our players for the three month period was exceptional. They provided a professional assessment of the five players and even offered two of the boys the opportunity to train and play with an FC Metz feeder club.
Eric has always been professional in my dealings with him and AIFF and I would be happy to work with him again in the future.
Scott O'Donell FIFA and AFC Instructor
To tell you the truth, I was a bit apprehensive in the beginning. My son Moonis had never travelled alone internationally anywhere. But when Mr. Eric Benny spoke to us personally and reassured us that this was a good choice for our son, we felt at ease. Moonis spent a month in Bad Aibling, in DFI academy. And when he returned, believe me, I couldn’t recognize him. The first time I saw him in the airport, he looked muscular and poised. He walked with a gait of self-assurance that I had not seen earlier.
Back at home, I was in for a bigger shock. I saw him the next day emptying his cupboard and organizing his clothes. His new-found wisdom was that if he could live comfortably for a month out of a suitcase, then why burden himself with extra things. He wanted to live a simple life.
And it doesn’t stop here. As if this wasn’t good enough, I found him punctual at meal times and for School. His experience in DFI taught him that perseverance and punctuality coupled with discipline are key to achieving any goal in life. Mr. Eric Benny has made my job as a mother, easier. My advice to every parent would be to grab this beautiful opportunity and give our children a chance to discover themselves in this beautiful trail camp organized by Mr. Eric Benny.
Mother of Moonis Thadey
Mentors do change lives. It’s that simple. If you have someone who can share their guidance and experience with you as you grow. It’s no coincidence why so many top-level athletes usually have fathers/mothers or family members as their mentors that were athletes themselves before, but most people are not that lucky.
For instance, my son isn´t lucky as I come from a family that does not care about their general fitness, let’s forget about a career in sports.
As football became a more serious matter with the life of my son, I searched for football trainers and mentors and came across Mr. Eric Benny, which was a blessing, after cutting across numerous trainers.
The way I built a relationship with Eric was by reposing my trust in him. Eric was straight forward and I first liked him as a person because he was a pretty genuine and honest guy. His vision about development for kids was far above than any trainer, his program, direction and clarity based on hard facts set me comfortable.
When you like someone, it’s easy to ask questions and share your insecurities, so I always asked him questions and advice on building a career in football for my son. I was provided with clear instructions which helped me understand the life around football on and off the pitch, Few interactions together amazed me with the amount of vision Eric had. The place where my son was getting integrated was more than lucrative considering the facilities available and over all development which was far superior than what he could have achieved back home. Now together after few years of our bond Eric is constantly keeping a tab on my son’s growth keeping all stake holders that’ includes parents in a ring with prime objective of development of my son to reach to a professional level.
If you have someone that you’d like to have as your child’s mentor. Tell them that you think they are someone with smart knowledge and you’d appreciate getting their advice and feedback from time to time, but don’t ever ask this to a stranger. This is where Eric fills the gap, at no moment you are a stranger to him.
Eric as a Mentor is accessible to everyone, so don’t hesitate. If you are in a tricky situation or you have a problem you want to sort out. Always seek advice, because chances are, your mentor has been or has known someone in the same position as you are now. Eric is the person who is going to keep a tab on how your children train/play and know how they think and act. Then we as parents also must believe and trust in him which though is not in blind faith but based on real life skills, his personal experience of years and ability to deliver with utmost authority the quality of training on and off the pitch.