“In Gokulam Kerala FC, every player was cooperative with each other”

In the just-concluded Indian Women’s League, Gokulam Kerala FC managed to defend their crown and were victorious for the second time. Head coach Anthony Andrews played a major role in the Malabarians’ dominance throughout the tournament.

Anthony Andrews started his coaching career at PIFA (Premier India Football Academy) in 2013, where he initially took care of their grassroots team. The young coach gained experience and gradually rose through the ranks to coach the other teams in the age group and then the elite group.

His next adventure was with Minerva Punjab FC, with whom he won numerous accolades while being named ‘Best Coach of the Year’ in 2017. He managed all of Minerva Punjab FC’s age group teams and also had a stint with the senior team as an assistant coach.

After a glorious tenure with the former I-League champion, Anthony Andrews moved to Gujarat to work with I-League Second Division ARA FC and then to Bangalore to coach Rebels FC.

His work regularly caught the eye as Anthony Andrews found himself coaching Gokulam Kerala FC women’s team. The team was a joy to watch as they ousted every team along the way.

Anthony Andrews has recently been appointed assistant coach of Gokulam Kerala FC’s senior men’s team. Shedding light on his coaching journey and the challenges he faced, in a exclusive interview with SportskeedaAnthony said:

“If you ask me about the disadvantages I faced in my career, I would say that I stopped my playing career quite early due to a lot of injuries. The transition from player to manager was not easy for me, I had some difficult decisions to make.

“But if you look at the bright side, I started my coaching career at grassroots level. It helped my journey as a coach. the ladder regularly. There have been times when being young was a barrier for me as a coach. Sometimes people tend to look for experience in a coach. But that mindset made me served as fuel in my quest to become a better coach.

“Just like my lows, my successes were crucial to me at every stage. Regardless of the level I was coaching at, little nuances that helped me think better as a coach added to my personal development.

Minerva Punjab FC opportunity was a big call for me. Winning every possible competition we entered and winning the title of “Best Coach of the Year” in 2017 was the biggest turnaround for me. I haven’t looked back since.

“Success at ARA FC and Rebels FC followed. Now everyone witnessed the riot of Gokulam Kerala FC women’s team in the IWL. Whenever I coach, I look to help players become better at what they do. The results follow automatically.”

Anthony Andrews has had experience working with diverse groups of players, regardless of gender and age. However, when it comes to making the transition from men’s football to women’s football, coaches often have to figure out how to adapt to the situation ahead of them.

Explaining how things went for him at Gokulam Kerala FC, Anthony Andrews said:

“As a coach, it’s essential that we make sure our plans touch all four corners of the game. Psychologically, it’s important to help a group of players bond, be it any group of players. age or sex.

“At Gokulam Kerala FC, every player was cooperative with each other, the staff and me. One of the interesting things I witnessed at the club was that the girls were eager to learn and very quick to learn new things. The staff was very helpful in understanding the physical issues that each player faced and how we could overcome those challenges.

“For me, it was mandatory that the players enjoy the session and can learn new things as well as implement their own ideas to improve the functioning of the unit. For us, it was necessary to keep the girls in shape with good food, good training sessions and the ability to use the sessions in games.

“I always left the door open for my players to engage in conversations about how they perceived situations and their relevant solutions. It allowed them to learn on the go and helped me to think freely.”

‘I think the picture is pretty clear’ – Gokulam Kerala FC assistant coach Anthony Andrews on the need for grassroots development in Indian football

The importance of grassroots football cannot be overlooked. It is a mandate for any football ecosystem to function properly. Sharing his opinion on the way forward for Indian football, Anthony Andrews said:

“I think the picture is quite clear. We need to focus more on grassroots football. If we don’t develop a stable system in grassroots or youth football, there will be a shortage of footballers in the club. future.Each state association and each club must develop a basic system.

“If children under the age of 10 do not play the sport, it becomes more and more difficult for us coaches to train at higher levels. If a player starts playing football late, compared to what is happening in European countries, chances are he/she might not get there.

“Since their late teens, a lot of players who can’t continue in the sport have turned to academics in hopes of making a career out of it. We’re left with very few options.”

“It is also important to have good coaches at the start. A good coach will not only identify a talented player and develop him, but also motivate him in the right way so that the child can see football as a viable career option.”

It is essential for a modern football manager to understand their journey to achieve results. It is equally important that the philosopher understands the tools at his disposal to obtain the desired result.

“Right now everyone is in awe of tiki-taka. But as a coach, you can’t jump to the conclusion that he wants his team to play a certain brand. Yes, you have to have an idea of the way a coach wants his to be on the pitch. But before deciding that, a coach must look at the players available to him. There may be individuals who may not be able to adhere to a certain style of play because it gets in the way of their ways.

Anthony Andrews has mentioned Naorem Priyangka Devi as a player who caught his attention during the latest edition of the Indian Women’s League. He believes the former Indian Arrows player will soon become a sensation in Indian football.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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Virginia S. Braud