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Indian football has a bright future, says Man. City coach

Athul M 

Indian coaches training under Carl Bruke  (Man City coaching staff) at SAI, Bangalore as a part of a premier skill camp ongoing in the city

Working with the British Council, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Indian Super League (ISL), the Premier League has led numerous Premier Skills projects in India since the inception of the programme in 2017. It has trained more than 1,000 Indian coaches and referees. This year’s premier camp is under way at SAI’s Bengaluru centre. The camp consists of the English Premier League’s coaching staff like Paul Hughes (Chelsea), Carl Bruke (Manchester City) and Kerry Green (Arsenal). Bruke shared his thoughts about Indian football and coaching in a conversation with The Observer. He congratulated the Indian men’s team for making it to the 100th spot in the World Fifa rankings in May along with Nicaragua, Lithuania and Estonia. Excerpts:

Q: How does it feel to be in India?
A:  India is fantastic as ever. It’s my second visit here. India has really good football prodigies.

Q: How are the Indian coaches responding to the camp?
A: Well, they are passionate about the game and always ready to learn. This is fun with these guys out here.

Q: What does the future of Indian football look to you right now?
A: Ever since the inception of ISL in 2013, some brilliant talents have sprung from different parts of this beautiful country. Lalruatthara (Kerala Blasters FC) and Anas Edathodika (Delhi Dynamos FC) are examples. The fight India put up against Colombia (he was referring to ongoing under-17 Fifa World Cup in India) was very inspiring. I wish India all the best.

Q: How important is this global exposure to the Indian football fraternity?
A: It’s a healthy atmosphere out here. If you look at where India stands in global football level (the country stays at 107th position according to the current Fifa rankings for men’s football teams), I think they have good prospects. I see a bright future.

Q: How do you rate the coaching standards?
A: Well, to be frank it needs improvement. Sometimes it falls flat. But that’s why we are here. We will get things fixed.

 

OTHER VOICES
The camp is instilling a lot of confidence in coaches from across the country. I am confident it would reflect on their outputs as coaches. English Premier League-style coaching is a fantastic experience for me.

  1. Adul Nisam, coach from Wayanad FC/Al-e-Itihad Sports Academy

It’s contributing to shaping a wonderful football culture from the grassroots level.  

    • Sai Abhinav, a representative of the Telangana Football Association