WIFA coaches programme is excellent initiative

Mumbai: The ambitious project started by the Western India Football Association to produce 5,000 All India Football Federation-certified coaches in Maharashtra is an excellent initiative that would be copied by other states, said AIFF`s director of coaching Gabriel Joseph on Tuesday.

"It`s an excellent initiative to bring football up in the state of Maharashtra and at the India level. I`m sure this project will be copied by other states," said Joseph, who is conducting a 10-day instructors` course for 20 Asian Football Confederation-certified coaches.

Among them are top former footballers Santosh Kashyap, the only AFC "A" level license holder in the lot, Godfrey Pereira, Khalid Jamil, Yusuf Ansari and Aqueel Ansari.

Four outstation coaches - William Koso (Nagaland), P M Saji, G J Charles (both Kerala) and Goa`s woman coach Maymol Rocky - are also undergoing the ten-day programme that is to end tomorrow after which the AIFF certificates would be awarded to them.

"These qualified instructors would go and train grass roots level coaches - at the district level as well as those engaged by schools and colleges - for producing lower level coaches," explained Joseph about the pyramid structure of producing the large number of coaches.

WIFA CEO Henry Menezes, whose brainchild it was, said the football body saw a lot of merit in it.

"The idea is to make coaching uniform all over Maharashtra and also India. These instructors would be guided strictly by the FIFA-AFC coaching manual and they would be monitored regularly," Menezes said.


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