Wim Koevermans, the India coach, was present at the finals of the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup where BMSC T. Manipur downed Mumbai FC 5-4 on penalties.
However the game didn’t make for an attractive viewing as the ball was needlessly kicked long for the strikers to pounce on. It wasn’t a surprise that the national coach chose to stress on the importance of keeping the ball.
“What I saw in the final was a physically strong team in Mumbai FC while Manipur tried to play football. But I still think they can improve because sometimes they just kick the ball forward without any reason. This is why coaches become important as they teach the boys how to play football and how to pass and keep the ball. Especially boys at this age must learn to keep the ball on the ground and only give a long pass when it is really a good one,” Koevermans told Goal.
The 52 year old stated that it wasn’t him or his support staff who are promoting a particular brand of football in the country but across the world, this is how the beautiful game is played.
“Most of the balls they played were high and they lost. It’s better to keep the ball. In this age group, they really need to learn the passing game which you see everywhere in the world. It’s not like the head coach of the national team says we have to pass the ball. It’s not something new. You see that everywhere. I have travelled across the world and have seen so many games, everybody plays the way football has been played at the moment,” he opined.
Koevermans believes that educating the coaches is the way forward in helping nurture the talent in the country.
“We should teach our kids when they are young to play the passing game. So that’s why I am very much involved in the coach education. This year we will have the first Pro-License but that’s the end of the line for coaches. But the young coaches, the B and C license ones have to learn how to develop the technique and the knowledge of the game for the kids because everybody only talks about the technique but is tactics not important then? Of course it is.
“The young coaches need to learn that and that’s where we most put our attention, i.e., on how to develop the young talent of players. When you grow old with good competitions and good structures in the league or states and that still has to be developed, then we will have better players in the future,” he mentioned.
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