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'A good coach is one who plans and innovates'

7 Sep 2016
Premier Skills, India

As Premier Skills arrives in Mumbai for the first time, one of the participants describes what the coaching development programme means to him

The Premier League's commitment to developing football in India was taken to a new level with the start of a new Premier Skills coaching course in Mumbai.

Fifty Indian grassroots coaches, most of whom are connected to Indian Super League (ISL) grassroots programmes, are being put through their paces at the Father Agnel School sports centre in the country's largest city, as part of a course that marks the start of a new three-year global Premier Skills project.

Premier Skills is the Premier League's lead international project and is run globally in partnership with the British Council and in India with additional partners such as the ISL and the All India Football Federation. It works to help community coaches to develop their coaching skills with one key aim the creation of new Coach Educators, who can train up new coaches.

One participant in Mumbai is Arnold Wilson, who helps manage community programmes for ISL side FC Pune City. 

"I wanted to join the course to understand the coaching side as I am hoping to start working as a community coach through our soccer schools and other FC Pune City activities in the west of India," Wilson says.

"The course has been incredible so far. It's an eye-opener to understand how coaching has evolved since my playing days.

Premier Skills, India, Arnold Wilson
Coach Arnold Wilson presents at a classroom session at Premier Skills in Mumbai this week

"We have coaches from West Ham, Crystal Palace and a Premier Skills head coach too and all three have their own way of coaching which is brilliant. It just goes to show you don't need to follow the book for everything and a good coach is the one who plans and innovates.

"I am sure the course will equip me enough to go back to FC Pune City and our schools and conduct and assist the coaching. Not just because I am an enthusiastic person but because I have got a lot of basic knowledge.

"This will help me to go back and coach and, in a small way, I will be able to give back to the people who I am going to be working with.

"At the end of the course we will receive an All India Football Federation D Licence. This is critical because it helps me get official recognition from the governing body of football in India and it lets you know that you are also moving in the right direction.

"Many people on the course are experienced coaches but what they are learning here is of immense importance. It shows that people feel a lot of value in the Premier Skills programme.

"One task this week is to conduct different parts of a coaching session. 

"This will be light years ahead of what I thought I would be doing. Confidence-wise it's definitely there. This is with adults so it will be a challenge when its implemented with the children on the ground but that challenge in itself is exciting." 

See: Premier Skills Mumbai gallery

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