Pailan Arrows is a youth team - Arthur Papas

The Australian has stressed that the age and result of the AIFF's developmental outfit is of no concern while being coy over a long-term contract extension...
Arthur Papas has drawn a line between the rest of the I-League teams and Pailan Arrows as the coach referred the latter as a "youth team" and hence their objective for the season was different than the other 12 teams.

"There's no issue with the age, there's no issue with the result, as long as people understand that this is what the team is," he stated. "And when they (people) start talking about the result too much, to be honest, I think it's a waste of time. They (Arrows) want to play some good football. They want to improve, they are working hard.

"I look at the team that we have today and if I was an I-League coach, I would want some of these players for the future. I could look at them and say 'Hey, I could definitely use some of these boys because some of them are developing really nicely'. That doesn't mean you win the league or finish in the top five, but there would be some really talented players," Papas continued.

"When I had my league team, I made sure I signed players to win the league, not to be a youth team, but this team is a youth team, so I think we are fulfilling our objectives," added the former Newcastle Jets assistant coach.

The 32-year-old also spoke on the report which mentioned of him being more comfortable with an year-long contract extension and not the three year deal which the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has allegedly offered.

Papas considers future in India

"I enjoyed my experience with the India U-22. I thought we were excellent in the AFC U-22 [Championship qualifiers] tournament. I love working with the [Pailan Arrows] players, but then it's about two parties coming together and at the moment we're not at that stage," he said.

"It doesn't really matter. You have to be focused on your job. Contract or no contract, I'd work a 100%."

"At the end of the day, Churchill (or any other team) would have a different team next year. Some players will go, some will stay. That's football. You can't say where you're going to be in eight months time," Papas remained coy about his future.

At the moment however, Papas is at the helm of Pailan Arrows and he believes that his boys' performance has been quite commendable. "The ONGC game I wasn't happy with and it's the only game I feel we really didn't compete. I'm happy how they're doing (playing). You got to try keeping positive because we've had a hard six games against the strongest teams," he said.

"I don't consider ONGC (as a strong team), but at the same stage, ONGC have beaten Dempo at home and East Bengal. So our result there is not a disgrace, if you consider what they (ONGC) are doing," he continued.

'Pailan Arrows need to mature'

He added: "It's that time of the year when you have been playing for a while and they (Arrows) start to get a bit flat because they are not mature players who have played season after season, and you can see now that it's easy to switch off your concentration too easily.

"We struggle physically, being a younger team, not as big bodied. You see like a couple of times Milan [Singh] got away at one stage and [Churchill Brothers defender] Bilal [Najjarine] pushed him away like he was a little kid. I can't teach that. That comes when you are mature, when you grow older and build up your body a little bit more. Then you behave like men, not boys," Papas concluded.

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