Enthusiastic footballers in Jammu ?sans? proper coaching, training, says Ex-Indian team captain

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By Vishal Bharti

Asserting that the footballers in Jammu are very enthusiastic, former Indian team captain Tarun Roy said that coaching and training of these footballers is not “upto the mark” for representing the pro platforms.

Presently Technical Director at Udaipur (Rajasthan) based (Hindustan) Zinc Football Academy Roy was in town for a day to conduct a selection camp in Under-17 category for the academy.

Speaking exclusively to UNI, Roy said, “base talent is fine but actually what we are looking for, was not visible on ground.”

“Young footballers are full of enthusiasm but they “lack” proper coaching and training and if channelized under experts, these lads can be transformed,” Roy said as per the observations he made during a day-long special camp.

Ex- Indian Footballer and Ex-India Senior Women’s Team Coach, expert coach at Sports Authority of Gujrat (AFC A Licence), Roy further shared, “after a tough day, two boys were selected as probable in U-17 age group but they have to fight in the final trials to make it into the ‘Zinc Football Academy’ at Udaipur in June after the completion of selection trials underway in some other states.”

“Making into the academy is like a ‘hard nut to crack’ because many qualities, several tests especially the fitness (priority), technical expertise are among the few requisites that are mandatory to meet,” Roy mentioned.

He also revealed that in the junior category, participation was much higher but not even a single footballer was impressive, adding, “the footballers were not physically fit and “lacked” the professional training.”

“And during interactions, I also found many of them had a late night sleep due to mobile use, which is not a healthy sign for any player eyeing to become a professional,” suggested the ace footballer.

“Infrastructure alone does not work unless the footballers are not augmented with fitness and techniques loaded training, which I found missing in most of them,” he expressed.

Roy however, said that final selection for the academy is to be made in June, adding, “we could not go to Srinagar due to ongoing elections but during the camp in Jammu, focus was laid on fitness, technical expertise and other aspects.”

Sharing a brief on Zinc Football Academy, he said that the residential scheme provides all facilities to footballers free of cost including academics in CBSE School, seven time meal a day, kits, world class infrastructure and much more including Rs 2 lakh insurance cover by Vedanta and Hindustan Zinc, all under one roof just to transform these athletes into professionals.

“As a Technical Director in the academy, I have to observe everything very minutely and there is no scope of any ‘easy going’ in that matter,” said Roy.

He however, attributed the contribution of ‘Zinc Football Academy’ in producing International Level footballers in various age groups, who have represented several clubs, leagues not only within the country but globally.

On the changing scenario in football sport in India, Roy expressed, “Football in India has witnessed a drastic improvement and our target is 2034–to qualify for the World Cup for which double efforts are to be made by all the stakeholders.”

“Young brigade is needed to be introduced to the game because updated rules, upgraded diet plans, new techniques, terminology, language are coming up after several intervals and unless they will not be made aware, trained or skilled accordingly, we will not be able to compete at different levels and even think of qualifying for the World Cup in 2034,” expert Roy opined.

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