Just one stint as the coach of the Tamil Nadu team for the Santosh Trophy national football championship held here, has changed the fortunes of P. Thulasi. He may not have taken Tamil Nadu to title-triumph but the team did enough while reaching the semifinals to make him the most visible coach in the championship.
Not long after came the call from the All India Football Federation’s Director of Coaching, Gabriel Joseph asking him to be ready to attend a Futuro III course for coaching instructors in Hong Kong. He was the only Indian to get selected for this FIFA initiated programme held from August 8 to 19.
Back now with a “fund of knowledge on football development”, Thulasi spoke eloquently on his experience and the gains, he believes he has had.
“I wish I had this experience prior to the national championship. Maybe I could have used some of the tips learnt to improve the State team,” he said, talking of the various FIFA coaching manuals that had been presented to him as part of the course.
With 20 candidates in all from nine countries, it was a comprehensive 12-day programme conducted by Mortaza Mohases of Iran and Kwok Ka Ming of Hong Kong.
Thulasi is now equipped to train coaches on the modern trends in the game and awaits the AIFF to provide opportunities. “I will be assessed next year based on my report on the year’s activities,” he said.
Thulasi works for the ICF and is also its football coach.s