Former footballer and coach Subhash Bhowmick talks about the state of football in the country, the lack of resources and the need for a good scouting system.

Currently, the state of football in our country is not looking very bright because the way things are going; it is certainly not very rosy. We are not even building a foundation for a good future.

Clubs are suffering mainly due to a lack of money and infrastructure. Indian players are not getting signed; clubs are only interested in signing foreigners and filling the squad with foreign players. We are depending too heavily on foreign players when our Indian players are actually just as good and this in turn leads to the National team not doing well.

Implement change

Only the federation can change the state of football in our country. They need to come out with better rules and regulations that will benefit the future of football in our country. They need to force teams to seriously implement a strong programme within the club and ensure that the base is strong and that they aren’t only focused on present glory. This includes academies and major emphasis on youth development and harnessing home grown talent. In the future, this will be a major lift for the clubs, who are the life of the national team. This will help the clubs and the national squad sustain and turn into a force to reckon with.

There is absolutely no lack of talent in our country and there are various prodigies from all over. The biggest problem we are facing today though is a lack of scouts. We lack a strong scouting system like they have in Europe and all over the world. Due to the size of our country, most of the talent is hidden in very remote areas, which is why we need many scouts who will keep travelling the nation’s length and breadth looking for talents like Messi and Ronaldo. What’s worse is that the existing scouts have almost no monetary incentive. Even if a player of world-class talent is found, the scout does not get paid very high or get the deserved credit.

Instigate interest

Infrastructure is lacking and the clubs and the football federation need to take an initiative. We need to focus on youth development and developing good players who will take us into the future. What India needs right now are players who also have a good personality; players that the public will come to the stadiums to watch. We need to get the common public interested in Indian football. We also most definitely need to go down to the grassroots and work on our youth, for in them lies the future of our National squad too.

Subhash Bhowmick is an ex-India, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal footballer and has also coached most of the top Indian Clubs. The veteran coach is among the nominees for the best coach award this year organised by the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) after leading Churchill Brothers to I-League success last season.

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