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Gumpe Rime: Not all foreign coaches are better than their Indian counterparts

07:56 GMT+4 07/06/2018
Gumpe Rime Shillong Lajong FC
Gumpe Rime defended the licensed Indian coaches and suggested that clubs must believe in their abilities...

The Kolkata clubs have often been criticized for not taking a modern approach to football even in the 21st century. At a time when clubs across the world as well as in India are adopting a more professional outlook towards the game, the Kolkata giants are yet to adopt the new methodologies. .

A very important part of the modern system involves the coaching staff who are the team’s think tank. The coaching unit is headed by the head coach or the manager followed by his assistants, physiotherapist, physical trainer and the list goes on.

A very important member, who is practically indispensable, is the goalkeeping coach. Only a former goalkeeper or a person who specializes in that role will be able to take up the position.

Unfortunately, this is something which has not taken seriously by the Kolkata-based clubs. The ignorance reached its peak when East Bengal appointed a former striker Sanjay Majhi as their goalkeeping coach in the 2015-16 season.

Former Shillong Lajong goalkeeping coach Gumpe Rime, who is currently working with the Reliance Foundation as a youth coach, pointed out the shortcomings of the Indian clubs.

In an exclusive chat with Goal, he said, “We have some senior goalkeeper coaches who have been working with the clubs. Also the clubs must hire proper goalkeeping coaches. For example in East Bengal in 2015, Sanjay Majhi was their goalkeeping coach. How can you appoint someone as your goalkeeping coach when he is not a goalkeeper? Goalkeeping is a specialized department. This is something all the clubs have neglected. We need to have quality goalkeeping coaches in academies and the club.”

Rime also spoke highly about the current batch of Indian goalkeepers and mentioned how they have progressed over the years. He said, “I think the quality of Indian goalkeepers has improved. In the first ISL, we saw many foreign goalkeepers and now so many Indian keepers are playing in the starting XI. This shows how much they have improved.”

Another issue which currently exists in Indian football is the lack of respect for the license-holding national coaches. Most of them are without a job and the ones who have a job hardly get to execute their own ideas.

In Indian Super League (ISL), most of the Indian coaches are working as assistants to foreign coaches. In I-League, clubs hire licensed coaches to fulfil the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) club licensing rule but ultimately appoint a technical director who runs the show. In most of the cases, the technical directors do not have the required licenses.

Gumpe opined, “The clubs have to understand that if a coach has ‘A’ licence he must have some credentials. He has gone through some coaching education process and that is why they have the licence. They have to believe in the coaches and that he can deliver.”

When asked if all the foreign coaches who work in India currently are better than their Indian counterparts, Rime suggested, “I don’t think all foreign coaches who come are better than the Indian coaches. In ISL, the trend is such that the Indian coaches cannot become head coaches there. They are looking for the big names. There are some very good foreign coaches who have a lot of experience.

“ISL wanted to bring the big names of world football to India. I hope this trend changes in next few years so that we have some Indian coaches who can get the experience and can deliver.”

The former Mahindra United goalkeeper believes that the AIFF ought to be stricter when it comes to implementing the club licensing system in order to ensure that every team has an ‘A’ license coach who has all the power.

“So far for the coaching licenses, the instructors have all come from abroad. Now the technical director Savio Medeira is conducting the ‘A’ licence coaching exams. He is trying to change the coach education system. A lot of changes are coming. It will help the Indian coaches. But when you talk about the process or the licensing criteria, that is something the AIFF can look into. There has to be some strict criteria and rules which the clubs follow and the coaches should get their due.”