Subrata Bhattacharya pitches for Indian coaches
The last decade or so, Indian football has seen a surge in foreign coaches
New Delhi : The last decade or so, Indian football has seen a surge in foreign coaches. Irrespective of what they are able to deliver, the quantity has increased in leaps and bounds. Indigenous coaches, because of this biased attitude, are not getting enough opportunity to hone their skills.
While the ISL has its own set of rules allowing only foreign coaches as head coaches, several I-League teams, especially the title aspirants, have started running after foreign coaches. Of late, a few Indian coaches have been able to join the ISL teams as assistant coaches, but then that is it.
IANS spoke to Subrata Bhattacharya, a well-known defender of his time and a successful coach at club level, who has given several trophies to different Indian clubs, to ascertain whether Indian coaches are below par or are foreign coaches over-hyped.
Bhattacharya feels that "we have still not been able to come out of the influence foreigners and that is the reason that we are ready to bring anything that is foreign. Otherwise, how can we forget what coaches like AmalDutta or PK Banerjee did for Indian football".
"See, we are still under the influence of 'Bideshianugotto' (Colonial influence). So by bringing in foreign coaches, the officials are trying to show that they are doing a great job. But how successful are these foreign coaches in comparison to our own PK Banerjee or AmalDutta. Who will tell these officials that their line of thinking is wrong? In fact, as a club coach I have beaten all the foreign coaches of my time," Bhattacharya told IANS.
"Myself, SubhashBhowmik, during our times, have defeated clubs coached by foreign coaches. What I feel is that apart from Indian coaches, it is very difficult to make the Indian footballers understand what is expected of them.
Tactical football, strategical football whatever they may say, they have not been able to make the Indian footballers understand that. Whatever the officials are doing, they are doing with a misconception or may be intentional, otherwise how can a coach like SubhashBhowmik be jobless," he went on to say.
Bhattacharya also rued the fact that a coach has to have an "A" licence to train a top league team.
"It is not that all the coaches in the world have 'A' licence. I can tell you several names who do not have 'A' licence. 'A' licence does not guarantee you a good coach. Had that been the case, then in India we have several 'A' licensed coaches, why they are not being appointed? It's like they are neither on this side nor on that side," he said.
He also set aside the myth that Indian coaches cannot control the players. "Had that been the case, then how is it that we coached the teams, even Indian teams, till this recent influx of foreign coaches. As a club coach, I have three National Leagues in my kitty."
Bhattacharya is in favour of an agitation by the former players and coaches who have given their all for the country as a player or as a coach, as he feels that in India nothing happens without an agitation. But at the same time he also feels that it is very difficult to bring them all together.