New Delhi: At a workshop organised and conducted by Richard Hood, head of Youth Development at the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to identify the ‘identity of representing the country,’ former greats of Indian football came together for a cause at the AIFF Headquarters on Thursday.
The workshop was attended by Bhaichung Bhutia, IM Vijayan, Joe Paul Ancheri, Renedy Singh, Bruno Coutinho, Subrata Paul, Godfrey Pereira, Syed Shabbir Pasha, Sukhwinder Singh and Derrick Pereira. AIFF Technical Director Scott O’Donell and Savio Medeira were also present.
Bhutia, also presently the chairman of the AIFF Technical Committee said, “I think this is the first of its kind. The right synergy of professionals from AIFF and the professional players who have played the game can bring a change in the future. I think this sort of meetings must happen quite often for exchange of ideas.”
IM Vijayan, touted as the ‘best player of his generation’ by critics, said, “Sharing our experiences on such a forum is really an experience for us and this must take place more than once.”
Sukhwinder Singh, the coach who led India to the famous World Cup qualifier win against UAE in 2001, said, “The passion and culture is very much existent in the country. The necessity of the hour is to mould all into the system.” Renedy Singh said, “It’s the first time I have attended this sort of a meeting. This needs to go on. But the stress must be there on the implementation.”
Derrick Pereira stated, “Richard’s presentation was an exuberant one and the data clearly shows that we also can implement this in our country.”
“It’s good that the AIFF is trying to get the former players involved into the system. We will be able to share our experience at the Grassroots and at the youth level along with helping the National Team,” former India Captain Bruno Coutinho stated. Joe Paul Ancheri, the versatile player during his playing days said: “We need to get deep into the rural areas. It’s time to implement the ideas.”
Arjuna awardee Subrata Paul, a present member of the Indian National Team said, “Sharing the forum with such greats and discussing our experiences was a great experience indeed. I feel the passion needs to be an infectious one which would bring all together on the same page.”