CPD FOOTBALL | THE BLOG | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Dave Waters: Why has Goa produced very little football talent?

The Fan's Column: Dave Waters (Assist. Coach, ASD Cape Town)

The Fan's Column: Dave Waters (Assist. Coach, ASD Cape Town)

In December 2012, I had the prvillage of visiting Goa to represent Africa Soccer Developments (ASD) Cape Town.  The short trip had two main objectives. Firstly, seek to scout 2 or 3 promising players to join fellow Indian, Brandon Fernandes with our setup in Cape Town. Secondly, to build relationships with clubs and coaches in Goa.

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PLEASE NOTE:
The views expressed in any of the published FAN’s COLUMN do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publication www.chrispd.de and/or its editor Chris Punnakkattu Daniel. The FAN’s COLUMNS reflect the opinion of the particular guest columnist and they are solely the responsibility of their author.

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The Fan's Column - Dave WatersWas the trip a success? In regard to the scouting… I’ll let you know in 3-4 years time! In regards to building relationships, I was very warmly received and welcomed by coaches and clubs – so certainly from that side of things, yes.

Making a short visit and accurately assessing the health of football development in a region is not really realistic, however, I would like to address the following question: ‚Why has Goa, a football loving state, produced very little football talent in recent years?‘

Practice – different to what you might think…
There’s been a lot of excellent literature in recent years in regard to ‚talent development‘.* One thing that is pretty consistent throughout the literature is the mindset towards practice. When I mention practice, I’m not necessarily talking about the 3 x 1.5 hours training at a fantastic training facility each week. (lush training facilities doesn’t = talent, but that’s an issue for another day!) I’m more interested in the mindset of the player or groups of players and how much they really want it. One question I repeatedly asked throughout my trip was ‚do kids play street football?‘ It seems that its not a particularly important part of players development in the state. Is this significant? I would suggest it is.

Take a look at Brazil for a minute. In 2011, Brazil exported 1,443 players into European or Arabs leagues. Yes, thats right, 1,443 professional footballers exported in just one year. So how do they do it? Well it starts on the street and it starts pretty young too. It’s about the unrelenting passion and desire to fight out of poverty and use every second of every day to play the game (usually football’s close cousin: ‚futsal‘). From a young age players learn how to handle themselves physically, but also learn the angles of the game, improve their vision and crucially learn to be a master of the ball.  Out of thousands and thousands of kids, the pro clubs then pick up the best ones at 14 or so, whilst the rest keep fighting and hoping that one day they will get their break into football too.

The Fan's Column - Dave WatersLast year, at ASD we discovered that 85% of our boys considered bare-footed street football to be a significant factor in their development as a young footballer. The role of street football and informal play cannot be under-estimated. For Goa, good facilities, academies and good coaching are all great to have, but what is needed most for this state to bring through a number of talented players over the next few years is an inner hunger and drive by the boys themselves.  Finding boys with the right mindset, boys who are prepared to sacrifice other things in life and prepared fight to become the best they can be is going to be significant in helping see the bar raised in Goan youth football development.

*Matthew Syed’s ‚Bounce‘ & Daniel Coyle’s ‚The Talent Code‘ are two books amongst many which combine principles and case-studies to highlight some essential keys to developing ‚world class talent‘.

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PLEASE NOTE:
The views expressed in any of the published FAN’s COLUMN do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publication www.chrispd.de and/or its editor Chris Punnakkattu Daniel. The FAN’s COLUMNS reflect the opinion of the particular guest columnist and they are solely the responsibility of their author.

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