Indian football should fix problems: Outgoing coach Koevermans | sports | Hindustan Times
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Indian football should fix problems: Outgoing coach Koevermans

sports Updated: Oct 07, 2014 03:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Wim Koevermans

Before the All India Football Federation (AIFF) could make it official, Wim Koevermans confirmed after Monday's friendly that it was his last as India coach.

Koevermans' contract was till the end of this month. The former Holland international also said he wouldn't take up the offer of being the technical director.

That the decision was already conveyed to the team before the match was evident when they lined up to applaud Koevermans after losing 2-3 to Palestine.

Compared to the rousing reception he had got after guiding India to the 2012 Nehru Cup win in his first assignment, this was a low-key affair.

Between then and now, India failed to qualify for the AFC Challenge Cup, finished runners-up in the 2013 SAFF Cup, didn't get past the group stage in the Asian Games and won only two of the eight friendlies.

"My job wasn't easy because they asked me to change the style of play. We made improvements in playing combination football. The performance was good but not enough to improve."

Koevermans then listed the problems that remain. "Real improvement lies in the development of the youth competitions. Right now, the under-19 competition is only for two months. We have to stretch it out for 8-9 months and also do it for the under-15 and under-17 categories. We also have to improve the I-League," he said.

"For years, there was no licensing system and clubs looked the other way. There were no academies and no proper competition. We need good coaches," said Koevermans. "I enjoyed every day in India, though. The players changed their style. In the SAFF Cup, we played a good semi-final and final, even though we lost," said Koevermans when asked to look back on his India stint.

Koevermans also said it won't be an easy job for his successor. "My successor will face the same problems. Next year the September, October and November Fifa windows will not be friendlies but qualifying matches for different competitions. That could make it even more difficult. Hopefully, the Indian Super League will do some good. But it's just two months long. We need to have a full-stretched league over the year."