The first Module of the AFC Pro Licence Course concluded at the Cooperage in Mumbai on Sunday (July 28). National
Coach Wim Koevermans, also a reputed UEFA Pro-Licence Instructor in Europe, was the Course Instructor. The Module had kicked-off on July 8.
Koevermans, who has earlier been the Instructor for the likes of his former Dutch National Team teammate Marco van Basten and Frank de Boer during Dutch-Pro Licence Courses said the goal stays to “bring Football in India to a higher-level.”
“It was a great experience with the Students and is the first step of Education for all the Participants. This was the first Module and three more follows. The aim is to bring Football in India to a higher-level,” said Koevermans.
“I’d also like to thank the Western India Football Association for their support and cooperation and the Youth Teams of PIFA Colaba and Air India for helping us out in the Practical sessions,” the National Coach added.
Kushal Das, the General Secretary of All India Football Federation who paid a visit to the Cooperage on the penultimate day expressed his satisfaction over the Course. “This is the first-time a Pro-Licence Course is being held in India and is obviously a benchmark as far as Coach Education in India,” he maintained. “We are fortunate to have Wim (Koevermans) as the Instructor.”
Besides being an UEFA Pro-Licence Instructor, Koevermans has also conducted Pro-Licence Courses in The Netherlands, Ireland and many other European Countries. This was his first-ever Pro-Licence Course in Asia.
Koevermans was also a member of the JIRA Panel which overlooks the Coaching Convention of the UEFA. The Panel monitors the Quality Check for Coaching Courses in UEFA.
“We don’t want to have Coaches for the sake of having it. Rather, the intention is to have Coaches who will go out of the Classroom and implement what they have learnt. I’d also like to thank WIFA for their cooperation,” Das added.
Arthur Papas, a former India U-22 National Team Coach presently in charge of Dempo SC hailed the Module was a “positive learning experience.”
“Considering this is the first AFC Pro License ever organised in India I’m extremely grateful to the AIFF for being one of the few Foreign Coaches accepted to participate,” Papas said.
“I have found the first Module of the AFC Pro Licence to have been a very positive learning experience, firstly because of the high calibre of Instructors and secondly through the opportunity to learn & interact with my fellow Professional Coaches, all of us who share an aim of not only developing ourselves but more importantly playing our part in the future development of Indian Football,” Papas quipped.
“Our Instructors Wim Koevermans & Rob Baan have managed to create a very open learning environment in a formal setting through their method of Teaching. This has provided the perfect setting to refine, develop and gain further knowledge in areas such as preparation, tactical analysis, training methods, management & leadership amongst many other facets the professional coach has to learn to deal with,” he added.
“I’m already looking forward to our next Module, the study tour to Japan.”
Mohun Bagan Coach Karim Bencherifa hailed the Course as a “success.”
“The Course was a success as it had an imminent Football Expert in Wim Koevermans who knew what he is talking about having long experience at highest level. I want to highlight his patience with us during the past-three weeks,” he said. “The manner the Participant Coaches responded to the Instructor(s) and put in a lot of effort to get the best out of the Theory and Practice Sessions also defined the Module,” he opined.
“I would like to mention the contribution of Rob Baan during the time he had spent with us. I feel that that with the information which we were taught, we are now better equipped to face the new challenges of our Coaching job.”
Khalid Jamil, a former Indian International and presently in charge of Mumbai FC felt the real work “begins now.”
“Under Koevermans, we have learnt a lot. He shared his experience and was patient with us. But the real test begins now. It’s up to us, the Participant Coaches to go and implement what we have been taught. Unless are able to do it, the purpose gets defeated,” Jamil, a tireless Midfielder during his heydays, opined.
“We learnt too much at the same time,” Mariano Dias, the Head Coach of I-League Champions Churchill Brothers admitted. “We learnt about systems; we learnt about periodisation; we learnt about preparations, etc. We shared our ideas and Koevermans encouraged all of us,” Dias proclaimed.
Santosh Kashyap, presently in charge of newly promoted I-league Team Rangdajied FC described the Course as “a new vision.”
“It was a great learning from Koevermans and Baan. It’s all about a new vision. We were educated about the responsibilities of a Professional Coach is a larger way. The systems vs systems, the match analysis were all so educative. We struggled a bit during the initial days but settled in fast,” he said.
“Unlike other Courses which I have attended where the Instructor speaks and everyone listens, this one was unique. Koevermans insisted on interactive sessions and his behavior encouraged all to open up,” Kashyap said at one breath.
Kashyap’s City rival, Shillong Lajong Head Coach Thangboi Singto defined it as an “eyeopener.”
“AIFF’s initiative enabled the Coaches to learn about the finer aspects of Modern Day Football. Koevermans conducted the Course in very interactive and analytical Process and it made all to think, discuss and solve tactical problems,” Singto informed. “It was an eyeopener.”
Stanley Rozario, a former Assistant to Bob Houghton in the Indian National Team felt “this was long due.”
“This was long due and I want to thank AIFF for conducting it. It was a fantastic experience. Post the Module, my vision is different. Thank you Wim Koevermans,” Rozario pronounced.
Kushal Das summed it up perfectly. “This is just the beginning. We will be having such more Courses in the future.”
The list of Participants was as follows:
Arthur Papas, Khalid Jamil, Faruk Ahmad, Mariano Dias, Scott O’Donell, Hilal Parray, Stanley Rozario, Thangboi Singto, Karim Bencherifa, S. Geevarghese, Marcos Pacheco, Santosh Kashyap, P Kunhikrishnan.