The course was conducted by AIFF instructor Shailesh Karkera and assisted by Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar Credit: AIFF

Guwahati: The first of three All India Football Federation (AIFF) grassroots leader courses was attended by 17 coaches, including several prominent ex-international footballers, at the Eastern Sporting Union Ground in Imphal, Manipur on Sunday.

Organised by Tata Trusts, the four-day course from May 2- 5 was conducted by AIFF instructor Shailesh Karkera and assisted by Kuntala Ghosh Dastidar. The duo focused on coaching methodology at various young age groups and also introduced them to Futsal (an in-door version of football played on a hard-court in a smaller area).

Renowned Indian footballer from Imphal, Irungbam Surkumar Singh, exclaimed that the course has been an eye opener for him. “To understand how children behave at different ages and the methods used to train them was something I found fascinating. This course helped me immensely and in turn I hope that I can inspire and coach my kids to become better players,” he said.

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Currently playing as a defender for India, Surkumar was a child prodigy who was roped in by the Tata Football Academy at a young age of 13 years. He was was signed by East Bengal FC and now he plays for United Sikkim FC.

Another celebrated football from the state, Khelemba Singh, who has played for Mohun Bagan and is current technical head of Tata Trusts in Manipur, said, “Having already attended the D and C licence courses, I was not expecting the amount of knowledge and relevant content that this course provided.”

He added that the futsal session was especially intriguing as “I was personally under the impression that it is easier to play Futsal since it is a small format but now I realise it is extremely demanding and you need to have a lot of technical ability to play the sport.”

The session concluded with a grassroots football festival that involved a total of 85 children engaged in a series of matches and technical workshops.

Two more courses are to be conducted in the state, the next and ongoing one from May 7 to 10, and the last from May 12 to 15.

Rajesh Siwakoti, senior executive, Tata Trusts, is managing the organisation of all the courses.

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