English Premier League coaches moot laying artificial turf in Arunachal Pradesh ground

Itanagar: English Premier League outfit Reading Football Club coaches Keith Greene and Jamie Carr have recommended to the Arunachal Pradesh government for laying artificial turf to hone young soccer talents.

"We feel that the building of artificial turf is the best way forward for Arunachal, as these can then be used throughout in `all weather conditions` including the monsoon season," Greene told a press conference here this afternoon.

The coaches submitted a report to the state government on completion of six months` rigorous training imparted to 192 young players in the state from March last.

"Children in Arunachal Pradesh are phenomenal in terms of willingness to learn," Carr commented.

APFA President Takam Sanjoy told a press meet that 18 players had been picked up in the coaching camps and would undergo rigorous training at Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA) at Chimpu near here.

Admitting lack of basic infrastructure in the state, Sanjoy disclosed his government had already approved construction of outdoor stadia at Aalo, Yupia, Ziro, Daporijo and Tezu besides sanctioning an amount of Rs 42 crore for construction of an outdoor stadium at SLSA, of which an amount of Rs 10 crore had already been released.

"The state government has also earmarked an amount of two crore for undertaking improvement works at Rajiv Gandhi Staidium at Naharlagun," he added.

Greene and Carr arrived here on March 5 last year with the equipment to set up a coaching camp after signing an MoU with the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA).

The MoU was signed by Sanjoy on behalf of APFA and Tomo Nomuk on behalf of the premier club, in presence of the Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. Nomuk, an Arunachalee, is the advisor of the club.

The duo having coaching experience of 18 and six years respectively, in their report also pointed out lack of sports infrastructure and coaching facilities in the state.

"We have found that the young players of Arunachal do not receive any football coaching and the fundamental skills of football are not being introduced to children until they are old enough to participate in tournaments."

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