AIFF’s scouting workshop kicks off in Goa

Margao, July 12 (IANS) The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) maiden nationwide scouting workshop kicked off here on Sunday with 25 participants, inclusive of former internationals, taking part in the event.

The two-day workshop, consisting of both theory and practical sessions, is being conducted by experienced international scout Derek Bragg. Former India internationals, namely Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence, Shanmugam Venkatesh, Samir Naik and Noel Wilson, are participating in the workshop.

National team coach Stephen Constantine, head coach of the Under-19 team Lee Johnson, and AIFF’s director of scouting Abhishek Yadav are also attending the event.

“The primary objective of this workshop is to identify talent in India. India is a vast country with 1.2 billion people. We need to create a team off the field,” an AIFF release quoted Bragg as saying on Sunday.

Johnson also said scouts often picked players as per their “own liking”, which may not be beneficial for the team. So, a clear understanding of the requirements of the clubs should be kept in mind by scouts.

“But such players may not fit into as per the philosophy of the club or the team,” he said.

Bragg also echoed Johnson’s view, saying: “Never recommend players whom you like; recommend players who fit into the philosophy.”

“Philosophy is most important, not the system,” Constantine said.

“I don’t have eyes everywhere for me to look at all the players who are playing all over in this vast country. You all are my eyes.”

Constantine reminded the participants that scouting is not a glamorous job.

“Scouting is a never a glamorous job. Scouts work behind the scenes. But they are the real people,” Bragg added.

Bragg said that a keen eye as a scout would help the participants develop their coaching skills.

“Once I became a scout, I improved as a coach,” he stated.

“You need to look and identify from the body language.”

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