Clifford Miranda is all set to start a new chapter in his career against Goan powerhouse Salgaocar FC in day two of the AWES (Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportsperson) Cup on Saturday at the Duler Stadium in Goa. Miranda has decided to end his playing career for good and will be in charge of the FC Goa team which will be taking part in the competition.
Since July this year, the 35-year-old has been working as the assistant to Derrick Pereira at FC Goa's developmental team who have recently been confirmed to participate in this season's Goa Pro League that is slated to take place after the AWES Cup.
"Whilst still at Churchill (Brothers), during the late stage of the (2016/17) season, Derrick first called me up asking me to take up (coaching). At first, I was a bit hesitant because I was not interested in coaching at the time but he eventually convinced me to take up coaching. The opportunity of learning under one of the best coaches in India (Derrick) coupled with working at an organisation as big as FC Goa helped me in making my decision," Miranda revealed to Goal.
The former India international has recently answered the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) 'A' License Coaching Certificate course examination in Kolkata as he explained his motive of being prepared for when it was time to quit playing.
"I thought about retirement from playing from the past few years as I have not had the same consistency, as far as clubs are concerned, in a way I had with Dempo (SC). After spending 15 years with Dempo I kept changing sides - from ATK, to Mumbai FC, Minerva (Punjab) and Churchill (Brothers). The opportunities were getting limited and that's when I thought that I will leave when I'm still good rather than having to leave quietly (unceremoniously)," he elaborated.
"I had done my coaching licensing courses as a form of a backup than realising later when I want to take up coaching and wait for another few years to get my licenses."
At club level, one may say that Clifford Miranda won literally all his silverware during his time at Dempo SC, including five league titles and a few other trophies besides making it to the semi-finals of the 2008 AFC Cup. He earned most of his international caps under Bob Houghton and was part of India's Nehru Cup triumphs in 2007 and 2009, the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup winning squad and also participated in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.
"I want to thank all my coaches - Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Mariano Dias and Jerome (Dias) for helping me through my youth days, Eban Mesquita and Mario - my PE (Physical Education) teacher at Agnel ashram school for spotting me and Ranjan Chowdhury for helping me in my time at TFA (Tata Football Academy)," he said.
Miranda expressed his gratitude to his club coaches Armando Colaco, Mauricio Afonso, Arthur Papas and Khalid Jamil. The Goan remembered Sukhwinder Singh for handing him his international debut while Bob Houghton, Rustom Akromov, Savio Mediera, Marcus Pacheco and Wim Koevermans also were part of his thank you list.
"My gratitude to Alberto Colaco for helping me throughout my career, Dempo chairman Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, (late) Manuel Rebello and Derrick for convincing me to take up coaching. I also thank all the fans who have supported me through thick and thin," he signed off.