Indian Football will witness path breaking kick off in 2017. For the first time a FIFA tournament, no matter U 17 world cup, but ‘the’ FIFA tournament will be hosted in India. Boys in the Blue will be participating in the ‘World Cup’ for the first time in Indian football history. Preparation for the world cup, on and off the pitch are in full swing. AFC U 16 championship, BRICS U 17 tournaments, to name few, will expose Indian football to football world over. Recently held AIFF Youth cup was good beginning.
Few of you might think what PDFA has to do with all these developments? What it would mean to PDFA ? How it would impact football in Pune? What importance these development would have common footballer in Pune?
Yes….these developments will have impact on football in Pune in many ways.
As fact of matter, one should look beyond impact of benefits mindset while observing these football happenings. It is like new a horizon will be seen for Indian Football World and to understand those future traits; we need to inculcate new vision. Therefore, my and PDFA’s future endeavors will be based on this very theme , New Horizon and New version. I believe, there are five pillars of PDFA, namely –clubs, coach, players , administrators and referees. Of course , players will be the focal point. But, all these factors must work in tandem to get the best for PDFA.
PDFA DEVELOPMENT PLAN:
CLUBS: There is new league and club system proposed for Indian football. Affiliation and registration process will be strictly monitored and it will be as per FIFA and AFC norms. We at PDFA have already fallen in place. Barring few last minute shuffles (which are unavoidable ins such a vast schedule) all the division league matches have been well organized. Knock out tournaments too have been given lot of exposure to talent. In fact I am proud to state that, these tournaments are the USP of PDFA. More thatn 125 clubs, all division leagues and knock out tournaments are the treasure of Pune football.
What needs to be done?
We have been following this league and tournaments regime for last so many years. In fact from school, college and club to industry level this tournament structure is being followed to great number.
But. what is the talent nurturing that we are doing?
I am again proud to state that Pune boy's and girl's teams bring laurels to PDFA. Our teams have been performing extraordinarily in state and national levels. Individuals too have shone at various age groups. But, is there a proper talent generation and nurturing ecosystem in place? Certainly, there is the huge scope on this front. And clubs should come forward on this front. PDFA will put best foot forward in this regard. Every club should form a road map for next 3 to 5 years and put a structure in place from U12 to open level. Compiling all the clubs' road map, the development plan for PDFA will automatically take shape. And I am committed to implement each and every word in it.
COACHES : They are the real backbone of the football system. They are the maker or breaker. I know that being a coach is a thankless job. If team wins then credit goes to players and if results are not favorable, then coaches are in the firing line. We talk about grassroots and scouting for the players. But, for growth of football at any level, quality coaches need to be taking charge. PDFA have been doing well on the coaches' front too. AFC and AIFF license have been granted to successful coaches. Others too, have gathered lot of knowledge and experience by attending trainings.
With the help of AIFF, WIFA and clubs, I will draw a plan for creating a pool coaches in Pune. Their nurturing and training part too will be taken care of. The exposure is very essential for coaches. Formal tie-ups will be made with various agencies for that. Coaches will train players, but they are the best resource persons to train other coaches too ! Coaching the coaches by the coaches, will prove very effective and will have long lasting impact on football in Pune. Support staff is the key for the overall development of the players and the team. Right From physios to managers, clubs need to be managed properly to be in shape for quality football. Specially, fitness and diet are the key points for performance enhancement. Special efforts have been taken by PDFA as lectures, seminars, with this regards, but more needs to be done.
PLAYERS : Pune has a huge pool of footballers. As mentioned earlier from school to industry level. Clubs are the real grooming grounds as far as these players are concerned. I believe that the players are and should be the focal point of any football institution. PDFA should look for each and every player as its asset and help for their betterment. As always, boys and girls from Pune have made us proud by their performance on and off the pitch. Now i sincerely feel that it's time to give it back to them.
PLAYERS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM : It is my ambitious plan for the hundreds of buddying footballers in the city. I have always believed that we should have a time bound plan for the players and for effective running this program, must have management system. Of course, club will play important role in this scheme as they are the custodian of the players.
ADMINISTRATORS : Football clubs are becoming very professional day by day. The kind of league and club management format that we are looking for is very professional. We must be equipped, infrastructure and resource wise to match the trends in the football world. The club officials must be trained with regards to players management, transfers, contracts and various others aspects of football on and off the field. Proper guidance, training and workshops need to be organized in more numbers in more effective way. I-league and ISL clubs from Pune have really contributed to the growth of football in Pune. On the club management front too, I believe, they have a major role to play.
REFEREES : Role of the referees is always thankless job but. But, right from FIFA-AFC to AIFF one thing has been made very clear, that use of technology is welcome, but human interface has to be there at the forefront. That is why football is being termed as the most beautiful game. If we rely on technology beyond certain limits , then the game will be a mere technical one. But, it doesn't mean that referees should not be doing their duty in proper professional manner. Yes, human mistakes we all accept. But it should not be the result of lack of knowledge and professional approach. PDFA have been involved in various activities for referees' development. Workshops, practices, exposure to outside activities have been of great help. We should build on these efforts to create more professional and knowledge based structure for the referees.
YOUTHS AND GIRLS FOOTBALL : Youth and Girls' football will be the focus area for the future. Special action plan must be prepared for these two sectors. I urge all the club members and well-wishers of football in Pune to contribute for that. We must spare a day or two to have a brainstorming on this subjects and create the road map for youth and girl football development without wasting much time. Then only, we will be able to match the speed and activities that are taking place at the national and international level. We have all the resources at our disposal. Let’s make the best foot forward to make use of it.
MEDIA AND SPONSORS : I congratulate all the achievers, from club to individual level. Also, without our supporter-sponsors and well-wishers PDFA would not have come so far. Last but not least, role of media and sponsors is very crucial in this venture of promoting football. Media has a tremendous power in popularizing the game. It has done a great contribution for the football in Pune. We must appreciate that and build on these relations to reach further heights. Sponsors too, play decisive part in promoting football. We have been fortunate enough to strike the right chord on both of these fronts. We must have futuristic approach and take this movement forward.
FIFA U 17 WORLD CUP will be a path breaking event. It will bring fresh air in Indian football. Also, it will take us to the new horizon. We must inculcate a fresh vision for that.
My appeal is be patient and have faith in the association as there is plenty to still do.