PANAJI: Dempo SC Head Coach Armando Colaco was visibly upset over a remark made to him by Nabab Bhattacharya, a senior official of Prayag United, before their I-League match at Nehru Stadium last Saturday.
Nabab Bhattacharya, in an editorial of a popular football website that was debating the influx of foreign coaches in India, had ridiculed the achievements of Armando Colaco saying that his achievements were no better than those of the accomplished foreign coaches in India who have achieved it in lesser time than the Dempo coach.
“Tell me one thing, Armando Colaco has won the I-League title 5 times, but he has almost 20 years experience. Now compare that to Karim Bencherifa winning the league within 2 years with Salgaocar. Which one is better? I think the foreign coaches are much more advanced technically and tactically than their Indian counterparts,” Bhattacharya had said.
Retorting to this claim Armando wondered why the Prayag official was unnecessarily dragging his name into the debate.
“Firstly, he should get his facts corrected,” said a visibly disappointed Armando.
“I have been with Dempo SC for only 12 years. Under my coaching, Dempo SC won the National Football League twice, I-League thrice and ended up as runners-up on a couple of occasions.
“Our team had reached the semi-finals of the AFC Cup, Asia’s second most important club competition, a feat which no other Indian club has ever achieved. We have participated in the AFC Cup on five occasions and have also played AFC Champions League play-off three times.
“I had the honour of being the national coach of Indian football team and also a nominee for the Dronacharya award—the highest coaching award given by the Govt of India. With all this in less than 12 years, I don’t think I need to justify my achievements. They are there for everyone to see. I don’t want to participate in a debate over foreign or Indian coaches but nobody has a right to drag me into this conversation disrespectfully,” explained Armando.
Armando further added: “It is unfair of him to comment upon me like this. As a coach, I have always said that I am still a student of football. I constantly aspire to learn about new techniques of coaching and with such remarks coming from a person who does not even have credentials like a Chunni Goswami or PK Banerjee, I would just advise him to refrain from saying such things about anybody.”
Giving more details about his thoughts on the debate of foreign coaches versus the Indian coaches Armando said: “I believe coaching is an individual philosophy. You can have a lot of coaches, but what you need is a voice that can help the players accomplish their tasks by overcoming their fears. It doesn’t matter if there is a foreign coach or an Indian one. With good coaching, proper motivation and a strong support from the club management you can achieve a lot—just like us at Dempo Sports Club.”