With the All India Football Federation resuming their AFC Pro Diploma Coaching Course after six years, Shuvendu Panda from the undivided Kahahandi district becomes the Odisha’s first football Coach to have been selected among 18 to take part in the course which is scheduled to be held at Chandigarh from May 10 to 19. AIFF will be hosting it along with the Asian Football Confederation.
So far, India has had only 23 AFC Pro License coaches, including Khalid Jamil, Mariano Dias, Santosh Kashyap, Hilal Parray, Thangboi Singto, Savio Medeira, and Derrick Pereira, who all are working currently with top-level footballers in the country. The last AFC Pro Diploma Coaching Course to be held in India was back in 2016.
Danish coach Kim Poulsen, who is the head coach of the Tanzania national team, has been appointed as the main educator for the course, while AIFF Interim Technical Director and Head of Coach Education, Savio Medeira will be assisting him. The entire course will be divided into five modules.
Module 1 will be an on-site segment from May 10 to 19, followed by the second Module, which entails three online sessions per week in July. According to the U-17 National team head coach Shuvendu Panda, the third Module will commence in October, and the candidates will travel to Europe for exposure (country to be confirmed later) for eight days.
The final two modules, both of which would entail on-site programmes, will be held next year. “While Module 4 will be held between January 10 and 19, 2023, Module 5 will be held between April 17 and 24, 2023. The latter will also contain assessments and written exams,” said Panda.
“Educating the coaches is the backbone to develop a football team in the state or the country. Such a course will provide the knowledge and experience to understand the international essence of football. The job of a coach is not just to guide the players but also simultaneously educate the second line of coaches. If the coaches couldn’t not keep themselves updated, it would be a crime,” added Panda.
Coaches selected for the course: Mehraj Wadoo, Richard Hood, Ishfaq Ahmed, Gavin Araujo, Jeddy John Almeida , Venkatesh Shanmugam, Shuvendu Panda, Prad Reddy, Shakti Chauhan, Surinder Singh, Noel Wilson, Bibiano Fernandes, Alex Ambrose, Sanjoy Sen, Vivek Nagul, Bastab Roy, Renedy Singh, Anthony Fernandes.