BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Arthur Papas has made a name for himself following a decent campaign with Pailan Arrows where he helped the youngsters punch above their weight. Now tasked with bringing the glory back to Dempo after what was a season marred with controversies and injuries, he mentioned that promoting youngsters into their team is an aspect he wants to improve at the club.
“We have got some talented younger players here. We're still looking to improve certain areas if we can, but if not, then you have got to start trusting your younger players and we've used the Goa League for that a lot. Like against Salgaocar last week, seven kids of the U-22 side played,” he told Goal.
While Pailan Arrows had the luxury of not being relegated, Papas will have to ensure that the Goan outfit get positive results in order to keep their title challenge up while at the same time promoting the younger lot.
“People are looking for results, but that's a long term result that I'm after. In the short term, of course, you still need to be successful on the field. If we can find a balance to start promoting young players as well, basically it's better for Dempo, it's better for Indian football - that's one of the things that I want to be able to contribute,” he mentioned.
Papas has already deployed several youngsters in the local league matches and is impressed with their performances so far.
“I can see that the young boys in the Goa League are really progressing and if they are progressing, then I'm not scared to play them in the I-League. If I played a whole team of young boys last year, I'm not scared to play three-or-four around better senior players.”
It's not all that different from Pailan Arrows
“The positions are definitely still not really decided. It's going to be different throughout the season. If you perform well, you train well, you play. If not, then someone is ready to knock on the door and take your spot.”
Mahesh Gawli’s career over the last few years has been injury ravaged and Papas hopes that the player recovers well after advising him to go Down Under for treatment on his knee.
“Gawli is in Australia. We've sent him where I used to work and he's doing intensive treatment there for the next month. We haven't seen him on the field since I've been here. That's a problem going on from last season - a long term injury. He's a top professional, so we really want to see him back. That's one of our goals.
“I sat with the chairman (Shrinivas Dempo) and I said 'I think that if we can send him to Australia for a month working with the world and the top medical staff, I think it's a good chance to resume his career.’ I've heard so many good things about him and I'd love to see him [back] on the field.”
Also, Creson Antao hasn’t been attending the training sessions since last week given that he doesn’t ‘fit’ into the plans of Papas.
"He (Creson Antao) is no longer with the team.” On being asked if his contract has been terminated, Papas replied, “No, it's just that he didn't fit into our plans, the way we want to play. So we thought that it would be best to leave him out. He will not be in our plans at all.
“It's not ideal because both (Gawli and Antao) are center backs. I've got a long term view of how this club's got to go (run) and the chairman is supportive of it. We have to make some changes. You can't keep everything the same, or else you shouldn't change anything.”
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