Bhutia lauds services of foreign coaches

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Kozhikode, Jan 12: Underlining the need for talented coaches for soccer teams, India's football captain Baichung Bhutia today said the country should not shy away from utilising the services of foreign coaches to improve the standard of the game.

''There is nothing wrong in requisitioning the services of foreign coaches'' as the country was at the bottom in the international standing, he told newspersons, on the eve of his club Mohun Bagan's encounter against Viva Kerala in the 11th round of I-League here tomorrow. Opining that the soccer teams in the country also needed new ideas for development of the game, he said to a certain extent this could be done emulating the strategies employed by the foreigners.

Justifying the appointment of Bob Houghton as the coach, Bhutia said he was doing a wonderful job and the side could benefit quite a lot from his vast experience.

''Bob has great knowledge of the game and had coached different teams in various parts of the world, during his chequered career as a coach,'' he said.

Stressing the need for more tournaments for soccer clubs in the country, he said this would provide the necessary exposure to budding players.

''Soccer clubs in the country should go in for more tournaments'' for honning the skills of our youngsters, Bhutia, who has led the country in many international engagements, said.

He said spotting the right talent and providing them with appropriate coaching was also important for development of the game in the country.

''This is what is happening in the North East,'' as a conducive atmosphere for grooming talents existed there, he said about more and more youngsters evincing interest in the game.

On Mohun Bagan's chances in the encounter against Viva Kerala tommorrow, he said the team was well prepared to gain full points.

However, he said ''we do not underestimate the rival'' as the newly formed entity had showcased a ''surprising'' performance in their previous matches in the I-League.

UNI

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