AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT
As All India Football Federation (AIFF) starts the procedure to select the new India coach, the names of Derrick Pereira and Ashley Westwood are doing the rounds in football circles since the resignation of Stephen Constantine was accepted after the teams AFC Asia Cup performance.
“The Technical Committee is responsible to see who the new Indian coach will be. They will decide and short list the candidates and send it to the Executive Committee to take a final,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das told The Navhind times.
The AIFF has had nine foreign coaches starting with Harry Wright from England in 1964. After a lull of 18 years former Dempo Sports Club coach Bob Bootland –also from England- was given a one year stint. Stephen Constantine was the fourth Englishman to take over as India coach. Prior to Stephen, India had appointed a Serbian, a Hungarian, a Czech and two Uzbeks.
Armando Colaco and Savio Medeira were two coaches from Goa to coach the national team. Armando was coach for an interim period in 2011 while Savio Medeira was given charge for a year, after Armando.
Fifty six year old Derrick Pereira rose to fame as a player during his playing days with Salgaocar FC. He was one of the few from Goa who had a combination of skill and intelligence during his playing days. He was a robust defender with the ability to assist in the front when the occasion demanded.Derrick hung his playing boots in 1999 and along with Savio Medeira was one of the first Indians to get the AFC Professional License coaching certificate.
Derrick coached professional clubs in Goa, Mumbai and Pune before being picked by FC Goa as assistant coach to Sergio Lobera in 2017. He was surprisingly dropped the next year and replaced by former FC Pune Pity player Jesus Tatos and moved as Technical Director.
Like Derrick, Ashley Westwood , who is forty two years, started his career as player in England and took up his first coaching assignment as coach cum player with Kettering Town in United Kingdom (UK). Ashley was coach of Bengaluru FC from 2013 to 2016. He then moved to Penang FA in Malaysia before returning to India as interim coach of ATK in 2018.
“AIFF is not really happy with India’s performance during the AFC Asian Cup. A lot more was expected. There was just a glint of good play. One win is not the start of a new era. The countries overall performance was mediocre. There was more luck. Ashley had a good sting with Bengaluru but Derrick is seen as someone with an eye for detail of Indian players and conditions. He is a professional and needs to be given a chance,” a senior AIFF source told The Navhind Times.
“The posts will be globally advertised and the applications received will be short listed and sent to the Technical Committee that will interview the candidates and recommend a name to the Executive Committee which will discuss and decide on the future coach of India. The process may take two or three months,” AIFF senior vice president Subratta Dutta told The Navhind Times.