Mumbai: Lack of good grounds is hampering the progress of budding footballers in India, feels Real Madrid Foundation International Clinics head coach Escudero Tello Guillermo.
"In these two-three days I have noticed that the skills level here is no different between European players or other players from Japan or other countries. Maybe in the future with better grounds, better fields, the kids can improve much faster.
"I know in India the most famous sport is cricket. I think football needs more help from government to support the sport so that kids have better fields to practice as best as possible," Guillermo told reporters at the training clinic at Priyadarshini Park, which is being conducted in association with Lokko Soccer Schools.
"In other countries they have artificial grass or natural grass in better condition than this one. In this place, working with the kids, it is so difficult to control or make a pass to 2-3 metres on the ground. Maybe in future you can achieve (results) similar to Spain or other countries," he added.
The Mumbai camp will coach children in the age-group of 7-18 years and will continue till May 5. They will also have a similar camp in Bangalore from May 6 to May 12.
Lokknath Char, the chief executive officer and founder of Lokko Sports, said the association is for developing football at grassroots and community level.
"This is the first step. There is no guarantee of how many years. We are taking one programme at a time. We are already in plans for the next programme with Real Madrid. This is at different levels-- grassroots, community and foundation-- and there is also a player exchange programme that will happen many years down the line because the standard has to reach that level," Char said.
Lokko sports invests in football at grassroots and elite level, he added.
It is not pleasant at all that I had to approach the court but there was no option left for me. I am glad that I have been proved right and it has lifted my morale ahead for the Asian Games.
Manoj Kumar, Indian boxer