Indian team benefits from AFC coach training

Preparing for India's new elite National League which starts-up in January 2006, newly-appointed Mahindra United coach Derek Pereira is on his way to watch some of the world’s top football teams train and to interact with their coaches. The third phase of his Asian Football Confederation professional coaching license course includes joining 22 other coaches on a 21-day trip to Germany.

Talking to Newsline, he said: "It will be a rare experience for me. We will finally know where our techniques, methods and skill stand vis-a-vis world’s top clubs. I don’t know the names of the clubs we will be going to. From what I’ve heard, we will have the opportunity to watch teams like Bayern Munich, VFB Stuttgart, Bayer Leverkusen train."

In addition to this trip, the other interesting development will be the use of laptops, for the first time in Indian football. "One of the course’s major aims is to analyse the players’ performance and the match. We were taught in Kuala Lumpur to make use of a laptop to implement this scientific analysing method. But this kind of software is expensive. I have suggested to the club officials to install the software. The club management has verbally agreed to my proposaI. I hope we get it before the National League starts," Pereira said.

In a bid to strengthen their youth development programme, Mahindra United will recruit promising under-16 footballers from schools in Mumbai. The management has also reportedly roped in a local sponsor to promote the under-16 and under-19 teams.