Not much separates India, Aus young footballers: Grassroots coach
Indian football is heading in the right direction, with focus now shifting heavily on grassroots football.
In order to nurture young talent, the Western India Football Association organised a 'Grassroots Football Festival' at the refurbished Cooperage ground, in Mumbai, on Wednesday, and the response it got was overwhelming.
Melbourne-based grassroots instructor Anthony Frost, who conducted the Football Federation of Australia (FFA)-All India Football Federation (AIFF) Grassroots Leaders' Course and the Grassroots Festival, was impressed with what he saw.
“The quality of players I saw here at the Cooperage was very good. There is not much difference between India and Australia youngsters. Soccer in Australia is structured, while here, more kids play the sport outside.
“India can benefit from the sheer number of kids who play and, with more development, the game in India will grow.”
Image: Anthony Frost, Grassroots Instructor from Melbourne, shares some pointers with young footballers from Mumbai during the FFA-AIFF Grassroots Festival at the Cooperage ground in Mumbai on Wednesday
'Will be educating grassroots coaches to use the experience for their community'
The FFA-AIFF Grassroots Leaders Course, from January 27 to 29, was the outcome of AIFF signing an agreement in October 2013, under the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP), with the Football Federation of Australia.
The program is designed for boys and girls between 6 and 12 years of age.
Henry Menezes, CEO of WIFA said "this tie-up is very important for Indian football".
“We are sure that grassroots football development will help create a flourishing football community in Maharashtra and this tie-up will help to structure and spread grassroots leaders and grassroots development program,” he added.
Frost pointed out that the initiative is a fantastic journey for grassroots coaches.
“Through this program we will be educating grassroots coaches who are willing to learn and improve their level of coaching and use the experience for their community -- be it schools, institutions or academy’s they are associated with,” he explained.
Image: WIFA Hon. Gen. Secretary, Souter Vaz (left) and WIFA CEO, Henry Menezes (right) present a memento to Anthony Frost, Grassroots Instructor from Melbourne, Australia, during the FFA-AIFF Grassroots Festival organised by the Western India Football Association (WIFA) at the Cooperage ground on Wednesday