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Savio Medeira – There have been foreign coaches who were below par in India

The AIFF’s Head of Coach Education suggested that winning the SAFF Cup as India coach was his ultimate achievement…

Savio Medeira, the current Head of Coach Education of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), suggested that the lack of opportunity for Indian coaches at the club level is a major hindrance development of coaches in the country.

Indian coaches, in general, have been deprived of coaching a top tier club in the last decade. While some I-League club still keep their faith on Indian head coaches, ISL clubs have not really entrusted an Indian coach with the head coach role despite the league removing restrictions on the same from last season.

Medeira believes that there is no dearth of quality coaches in India but they must be given chances to blossom.

“To be honest, we have some of the best minds and good coaches in our country but most of these good coaches are not getting regular coaching jobs in the clubs. They are always used as assistants then how will they get a chance to improve.

“Our coaches at this level, need regular competition and regular mentoring. Through coach education, I will try to help them as much as possible. If our coaches are given ample opportunities at clubs and academies we will have enough good coaches,” said the Salgaocar legend during an online chat with the AIFF.

The Goan also suggested that not all foreign coaches who come to India are very competent and do not add much value.

“If I go on the opposite side there are so many foreign coaches who came to India. Some were very good from whom I have learnt a lot but also some were below par and not competent enough.”

Medeira had served the Indian national team as an assistant coach under Bob Houghton and later took on the role as the head coach in 2011. Under his tutelage, India had won the SAFF Championship in 2011 beating Afghanistan 4-0 in the final.

The former Indian coach picked the SAFF triumph as the ultimate achievement of his coaching career.

“Coaching a national team is something I had always dreamt of and it comes once in a lifetime. I was lucky and fortunate enough to coach the national team because I had the cream of Indian players. That was my satisfaction. Winning the SAFF trophies was the ultimate achievement for me,” said Medeira.

The Goan midfielder was an integral part of the dream team of Salgaocar FC which had won Federation Cup in 1997 beating East Bengal at the Salt Lake and had also bagged the National Football League (NFL) title in 1998-99 season.

Medeira reminisced the memories of his time at Salgaocar and explained the reason behind the success of that particular squad.

“It was the team spirit that carried us forward. From the management to the coaches to the players it was one family. Those were the best days which I can reflect on now and cherish the good memories.”

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