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India’s Class of 2011 joins in as AIFF-SAI joint Special Reconversion Course draws to close!

A four-day long Special Reconversion Course conducted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in association with Sports Authority of India (SAI), came to a close today, July 30.

The course saw 48 coaches take part in two daily sessions across four days to take Indian Football forward together as part of the AIFF’s plan to guide SAI coaches across the country towards understanding the coaching methodologies of the AIFF, in line with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Isac Doru (Technical Director, AIFF), Savio Medeira (Head of Coach Education, AIFF), Chirag Tanna (General Manager, Football Sports Development Limited) addressed the participants at the closing ceremony while the class of 2011 — Clifford Miranda, Subrata Paul, Gouramangi Singh and Mehrajuddin Wadoo – also highlighted the significance of modern coaching techniques and licenses.

Additionally, the ceremony featured Rachna Govil (Arjuna Awardee, Executive Director, Coach Education, SAI New Delhi), Dr. G. Kishore (Principal & Regional Director, SAI LNCPE Trivandrum), Anil Kumar (General Secretary, Kerala Football Association) and Pradip Dutta (Associate Professor, FIFA Instructor, SAI LNCPE, Trivandrum).

Doru extended his congratulations to the participants and hoped that this initiative is the start of ‘something new’.

“As they say, well begun is half done. It is the first time that we have done such coaching and testing process online, and I would like to congratulate SAI for taking the initiative and showing the desire to change. I am glad to see the passion and motivation in the coaches and I hope that today is the start of something new,” he said.

Medeira expressed his “immense pleasure” at being a part of the program and reserved a special word for the Class of 2011, stating that they have a big role to play in the future.

“I thank everyone who helped make this course successful. It gives me immense pleasure to have been a part of this venture, which was started after a lot of thought in order to help SAI coaches to come in line with AIFF-AFC methodologies,” he stated.

“Learning never stops and the time has come where we have to be open to new ideas and change our mindset. The AIFF will always be behind you and we will all meet again soon to assess your abilities and support you,” he added. “There are many players who are entering coaching and have a big role to play. I am optimistic about the future.”

Ms. Rachana stated that there were “serious deliberations” between the AIFF and SAI, with this course being the first step towards achieving the goals.

“There were serious deliberations that took place as to how we can have an integrated approach towards talent identification & development along with coach education and this the first step towards it. I am sure that the online course was useful for the participants and we also plan to have practical sessions once the situation improves. Such courses will take us forward and help in the development of Indian football,” she expressed.

Former India winger Clifford Miranda, who currently is associated with ISL side FC Goa, said: “It is a pleasure for me to be here and share the knowledge of what I have learned. It has fantastic to see that AIFF & SAI have come together to exchange knowledge, especially in such difficult circumstances. This initiative will help coach education and Indian football, and is a start that has been made where change can be brought about.”

Goalkeeper Subrata Paul, an Arjuna Awardee, who will play in the next season for Hyderabad FC, stated that he has been taking his coaching badges while playing and it has helped him improve his performances on the pitch as well.

“Our coaching system has improved a lot with time and the concept has changed as well, with the sport evolving every day. After doing my licenses, I have seen my game improve and the difference in my performance has been a lot. I don’t know if coaching will be my profession or not but I want to gain as much knowledge as possible and do all my licenses,” the ‘Spiderman’ explained.

Ex-India captain and defender Gouramangi Singh, who coaches Bengaluru United FC, stressed on the importance of coaches gaining access to the best information, which has been a major plus point of this course.

“It is a great initiative and will help a lot. I do believe that as coaches it is important that we get access to know-how and the latest happenings in the field. With this course, that is certainly happening. Such collaborations are important for us as it is where the best information lies for all coaches and thanks to AIFF, SAI and FSDL. There is a lot to do for all of us and this is a great beginning,” he maintained.

Mehrajuddin Wadoo shared insights of his journey from player to coach saying, “this course is a great initiative”.

“It is really important so that SAI and AIFF coaches can come together for the development of Indian football. As players, you can have a lot of knowledge but once you are in coaching it is different. I did my first license in 2014 and it was an eye-opener for me. I realized that I have to work very hard. It’s been 2-3 years since I have been coaching and it has been a great journey. You learn new things every time you go on the field.”

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