With the FIFA U-17 World Cup just three years away, national coach Wim Koevermans believes the country's youth teams need better coaches to stand a chance of faring well at the tournament.
India's national coach Wim Koevermans at Cooperage yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
"It's important that more kids play football under the guidance of good coaches. "There is a need to have more coaches at the youth level and the team that is already working with them now has to ensure a good program is in place so that they are at a good level.
The best teams on this level would be here (in 2017)," said Koevermans who was in the city yesterday to oversee the ongoing AFC 'B' License course at the Cooperage.
The Dutchman also added that the development and progress of youth teams should not stop in 2017. "Whatever developments or changes are made for 2017, should not stop. It's a big event and development should not stop after the World Cup. It should continue, so we can improve the game in a big way."
Meanwhile, Koevermans was still apprehensive about the effect the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) will have on the national team.
"Our (national team's) first opportunity to play is in September but we have to see if I-League clubs have already started some sort of pre-season because it might affect the preparations of the national team.
ISL may start in September as well and I-League clubs start in December so the question I have is this: will the boys already be in training by then or do they have to start? I have to find out if it is going to work out for the national team in the end," Koevermans wondered.