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The Shillong-based outfit have been one of the earliest to have begun their pre-season training...


GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter


Santosh Kashyap is hopeful to add a few more names to his squad as he begins preparations with Rangdajied United for the 2013-14 season.

"We (Rangdajied) started the pre-seaon on 21st June with all the players who have been retained from the second division. We are in the process of signing some new players now. Some players have been called for trials. As of now, there are around 20-to-22 players," the 47-year-old told GOAL.

"We are looking for the foreigners and a few Indian players if they are available and go ahead, as most of them (Indian players) are already signed," he added.

Kashyap spoke on how he turned down offers from the relatively established household names of Indian football, while aiming to put his experience to the test with the promoted outfit.

"I had offers from Mohammedan [Sporting], Salgaocar and Pailan [Arrows] also," he revealed. "At this time, I got a good offer from Rangdajied. So obviously thinking about taking up a new challenge in a new place, especially after they (Rangdajied) had shown a very brave face in the second division, I thought why not.

"Coaching is always about learning. I have learned from my time at Mahindra United to Air India, from Air India to Mohun Bagan, then ONGC. So I want to do better and keep improving.”

Having made it into the top flight for the first time, the former ONGC FC coach’s primary target is to save his side from relegation but added that a top half finish would be ideal.

"Our first objective will be definitely to remain in the I-League and then we'll how far we can adjust. Secondly, if we finish in the top seven or top eight at least, that will be excellent. We will try to do our best in the Federation Cup, Durand Cup, IFA Shield or any other tournament, but our main objective will be to stay in the I-League," he stressed.

Kashyap will also be among those who will be attending the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Professional License course in Mumbai starting July 8 under the tutelage of India coach Wim Koevermans.

"In my experience, coaching education is very important," he claimed. "I feel it's very important to gain confidence, more knowledge and learn new things to improve. It's happening all over the world. So it's very important in today's world for us to be on par with everyone else.

"If I had attended this Pro-Licence course earlier, maybe I could have been a better coach. Whichever course I go, I learn something new. I want to grasp more and more from wherever I get to learn. Such courses will help me individually as a coach, for the team and the overall development of football."


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