Football

India needs sustained grassroots programme, says Piet Hubers

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Indian football should immediately adopt a roadmap for youth development that should target the year 2026 to reach the standards of the best teams in Asia, according to UEFA grassroots expert Piet Hubers.

“Grassroots development is a big challenge for Indian football. It should adopt a vision that would look at 2026 to be able to compare itself with the best in Asia,” Hubers, who is on the invitation of the ISL, said after overseeing a grassroots workshop here on Tuesday.

“You need a sustained youth development programme of at least 10 years to see the standard of the player reach a certain level,” the Dutchman added. “What I could make out after reading a lot of documents and interacting with coaches and administrators in the 10 days I have spent in this country is that India should start a concerted grassroots programme immediately,” Hubers suggested.

“The first thing you need for this to happen is to ensure proper pitches or grounds for the kids to play near their locality or schools. I do not see much happening if the kids have to travel for hours to reach the ground,” he added.

“Secondly you need good, knowledgeable coaches who would give training to the kids according to their age and ability,” Hubers said suggesting that the programme should be spread all over the country and put in a continuous development mode.

Hubers appreciated ISL’s initiative to raise the professional level of Indian football and develop the game. “ISL is a good vehicle to attract children to the game. The tournament is taking a lot of positive steps and I hope this concept works out well for the country,” he said.

Hubers also supported India’s insistence on Dutch experts for development. “The Dutch system looks more at positional play and pressing football. I think Indian players should feel comfortable with this system.”

Meanwhile, the AIFF has signed an agreement with Football Federation Australia for assistance in grassroots development.



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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 8:21:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/india-needs-sustained-grassroots-programme-says-uefa-expert-piet-hubers/article6332403.ece

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