Former India international Steven Dias hopes to continue his journey as a coach in the Indian Super League (ISL).
The 36-year-old served as assistant coach at Jamshedpur FC in the sixth edition of the ISL and is amongst the frontrunners to join Stuart Baxter's coaching staff at Odisha FC for the upcoming season.
Dias, who has played for various clubs in the NFL (National Football League) and the I-League including the likes of Mahindra United (disbanded in 2010) and Churchill Brothers, cleared his AFC (Asian Football Confederation) 'C' License coaching course in 2014.
He won the NFL with Mahindra in 2005-06 and followed it up with an I-League victory with Churchill Brothers in 2012-13.
In the ISL, Dias has played for Delhi Dynamos (now Odisha FC) in the inaugural year of the competition after which he pursued his coaching licenses. He last played in the top flight with Mumbai FC (now defunct) in 2017 in the I-League.
"When nothing worked for me (as a player) in the ISL (2015), I realised that it was time for me to concentrate on doing my (coaching) licenses. And by doing these licenses, trust me, the kind of knowledge you get was something you never got as a player," Dias mentioned to Goal.
"I think every player should take up their coaching licenses because they can definitely stand to benefit."
Dias, along with former Air India team-mates Santosh Koli and Vijith Shetty, started the Ambitious Football Academy in 2017. After completing his AFC 'A' License in 2018, he had a stint with FC Mumbaikars and also took up a role assistant coach at U Mumba FC - a project which never saw the light of day.
He has served as an assistant to Antonio Iriondo at Jamshedpur in the ISL last season. Dias feels that experience was extremely beneficial in his coaching career.
"Honestly, I never thought I would be coaching at an ISL club so soon. I was trying for some club in the second division I-League or maybe I-League where I would get to learn something when the offer came in from Jamshedpur."
"I had a very good experience at Jamshedpur. Although we didn't do that well, I still learnt a lot of things. It was a good experience with the Spanish staff," he concluded.