Goa Football Association (GFA) has been making serious efforts to develop the game, in a bid to keep pace with the fast changing scenario in the country. Besides going professional with the game, GFA has taken a major step forward in initiating a youth development programme. Until recently the crop of local players that surfaced were mostly those playing in inter-village tournaments organised in the rice fields of Goa. These youth were not exposed to any structured training. This resulted in the development of sub-standard players as their technical fundamentals were weak, directly affected the quality of competition at the senior level. And thus marketing of the game becomes difficult. With the quality of football being sub-standard at the top level, sponsorships and paying spectators are hard to come by. 
Goa''s Youth Football Development Programme was launched in 1998, with financial support from Kannan Devan, a subsidiary of the Tata Tea Company. To ensure the smooth operation of the programme, the Youth Development Committee, in a major shift of policy, introduced a new system that enabled the continuity of the programme at a centre through the various age groups. The GFA has also decided on developing coaches for grassroot level development.

Twelve centres were identified for coaching at Arpora, Taleigao, Pilar, Chicalim, Assagao, Morjim, Chinchinim, Chandor, Raia, and Nuvem, with Duler and Fatorda being maintained as the Centres of Excellence, for further training of the State teams in the various age groups.

Another major step taken by the GFA is in development and training of youth coaches. In the 1999-2000 season the GFA sponsored 10 more Goans for the AFC C license course which was conducted in Goa by AFC instructors, after the South Asian Football Federation championship was held in the State.

The Youth Development Committee had two Technical Directors, Visitacao Lobo working in the North, and based at Duler and Brahmanand Shankhwalkar working in the South and based at Fatorda. Marcus Pacheco was a special instructor.

The GFA is tying up with Clubs to organise and spread youth development. It is now upto the various village clubs to take an initiative in mobilising young talent in order to start a new centre, thereby developing potential footballers from their area.
The Youth Development Committee will support the clubs by providing qualified coaches, football literature including video tapes and footballs. The Committee will also help subsidise refreshments for the young talent, though it is the responsibility of the club.

23rd Nov 2014 6:15 pm

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