The Aussie coach insisted that he had signed on for Dempo to help build a squad that struck a perfect balance…
Arthur Papas needs no introduction. Having been a popular coach in the Indian I-League set-up with Pailan Arrows, he was contacted regarding a position amongst the Indian National team coaching staff but chose to turn that offer down by filling in the vacancy at Dempo SC. He remains unfazed by the huge boots he has to fill and given the tremendous amount of success Dempo SC has had, he seems more enthusiastic to keep the success flowing at the club, while striking a more optimum balance with his team, as a mantra.
Speaking exclusively with The Times of India, Papas elucidates his ambitions, dreams and achievements and the role he will play, more than just as a coach at his new club.
On being asked as to why he specifically chose Dempo and not any other I-League side, Papas chose to be thoughtful and said: “It’s a club that has had a huge amount of success for a long period of time and they have a reputation in Asia. For a foreign coach, that's important."
“Last season, Dempo had a transition year and although they were not on the way down, they did not taste the success they are used to. For me, this is a challenge. I want to take them to the top. The chairman (Shrinivas Dempo) told me he is happy with the titles but he wants to see players develop and establish a link with FC Midtjylland, the Danish club with whom Dempo have a tie-up. There a lot of factors outside the first team. We are Dempo, so we need to be successful. There is no choice. But we also want to see more Goan players develop and professionalize the coaching structure.
"It seems funny but it looks like I am starting a new project altogether. There is so much to do. I worked hard with Arrows and the national team, and want to be bring the same professionalism and mentality here,” elucidated a very excited Papas who believes the new challenges he will face at Dempo will help him develop as a coach too.
We all know how successful the Dempo team has been over the last decade under the tutelage of Armando Colaco. Naturally expectations from Papas are also high.
On being asked the introspective question as to how he could further improve a team that has won everything the land had to offer, Papas examined the stats and said: ”The chairman said he wants us not just to win the league but develop players as well. Of course, we have to be successful (on the field) but football is a lot more than just the first team. The chairman has been to Denmark and has seen the professionalism there, how they develop the facilities, players, and wants to have the same approach here.”
Finally, on being asked of how he planned to see his efforts after his 3-year contract was up at the club Papas had this to say: “Obviously, we want to win the I-League again. I don't think the target is to win in the third year because then you leave yourself with an excuse not to win it straightway. We want to be back in the AFC Cup. It's also important that we do it by developing more and more players, although that will not happen overnight. We want to develop a youth development system. We want to develop our ties with Denmark, and work out an exchange programme with players and coaches."