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  Sports   Football  14 Oct 2018  What next after Y League?

What next after Y League?

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : Oct 14, 2018, 1:14 am IST
Updated : Oct 14, 2018, 1:14 am IST

Dias who made 51 appearances for India and led the Blues also several times is having his first stint as professional coach.

Dias who made 51 appearances for India and led the Blues also several times is having his first stint as professional coach.
 Dias who made 51 appearances for India and led the Blues also several times is having his first stint as professional coach.

Former International, Steven Dias is impressed with the junior talent in the AIFF Youth League Under-18 Maharashtra Pre Qualifiers. The 34-year-old saw action from close quarters as coach of the FC Mumbaikars team at Cooperage football stadium.

But the versatile midfielder who played for top Indian clubs including Mumbai based Mahindra United and Mumbai FC rued lack of opportunities for these junior footballers at senior level.

“It is a good tournament and competition is great. There are many talented players from many clubs. But for Mumbai players the question remains what next after junior football? Where will they go? There are not many opportunities, as the city has no I-League top division and second division club. There is just one ISL club — Mumbai City FC to look upto,” he rued.

The veteran footballer advised the youngsters to keep playing and look towards Kolkata and other places to gain experience until Mumbai gets its own professional club.

“These youngsters will have to leave their home comforts and go to Kolkata and other places to gain experience until we have a professional club in the city. They have to keep playing and working hard,” he added.

Dias who made 51 appearances for India and led the Blues also several times is having his first stint as professional coach. He has completed his AFC B License course and will appear in the final module exam of AFC License A program on October 20.

“It was tough initially but I am enjoying my first experience as a coach. Our team (FC Mumbaikars) didn’t perform as per expectations. But the boys have been really good and have followed my instructions,” he said.

The local lad once called David Beckham of India due to his precise free kicks, is in no hurry to coach top clubs in I-League and ISL. “I will take step by step. I have just started coaching so I want to stay here and see later how it goes,” he added.

Dias has taken over FC Mumbaikars recently and is set to coach their U-15 team as well to help them qualify for next stage. “It is an organised club and I want to develop these young players. I joined the club just two-three weeks before the U-18 Y League started, so I am confident results can get better if I spend more time with the team,” he said.

Besides FC Mumbaikars, Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RYFC), Iron Born FC, India Rush Soccer Club and Football School of India (FSI) participated in the AIFF Youth League Under-18 Maharashtra Pre qualifiers.

Tags: fc mumbaikar, i-league, aiff youth, reliance foundation young champs