‘Football Structure In Nagaland Needs Rebuilding From Grassroots’ - Eastern Mirror
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‘Football structure in Nagaland needs rebuilding from grassroots’

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 25, 2020 10:48 pm
Viliebeizo Keditsu EM Images
Viliebeizo Keditsu (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Sep. 25 (EMN):
Thirty-year-old Viliebeizo Keditsu is a Guwahati-based administrative officer at the civil department of North East Institute of Management and Technology (NEIMT).

He is also a football coach and the co-founder of a football academy called Hawk F.A.N in Guwahati, Assam.

Keditsu, who hails from Meriema village in Kohima district, has been a football coach since 2016 and has cleared the ‘D’ license football coach grading in 2017 from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

He recently shared his football journey with Eastern Mirror.

Keditsu is currently working in Guwahati Town Club as an I-league coach for under-14 and head coach for under-18 at the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM)/Regional Institute of Technology–RIST, Guwahati FC on weekdays.

He shared that his academy teaches children who are ‘less-privileged but are passionate about football and have the interest to build a career in sport’. He also offers coaching on Saturdays and Sundays.

Keditsu, who was also awarded the best coach during the Dr. T Ao Inter-College Tournament, 2019 organised by Cotton University in Guwahati, said that he has coached around 60-70 students and ‘everyone of them is doing well’. He also reiterated that ‘Nagas can excel in the field of sport’.

One of his students, Hanau Phom, is now the captain of Guwahati FC, he informed.

“As a coach, it is my desire to see the young upcoming players and the future of different types of players, and explore their skills and try to help them out to excel,” said Keditsu.

He shared his aspiration to start a football academy in Nagaland and expressed hope that it will help children who are passionate about sport.

During his college days, he participated in various league matches and accumulated valuable coaching skills through the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Tournament, which paved his way for a career as a coach.

When asked how he manages his work as an academician and football coach, he shared that he spends time from 10 am to 2 pm at NEIMT and afterwards, to sport.

While stating that the Covid-19 pandemic has halted sporting activities to a great extent, he said it did not deter him from continuing his sporting pursuit. He even attended an online course on coaching that was offered by the La Liga Football School Certificate from Spain.

He added that he had also offered online football coaching to over 2600 students from various parts of the country and shared his willingness to help them through online classes.

He stated that he offers classes for development at the grassroots and maintained that online classes have been completed for Mumbai and Assam. ‘More are coming still,’ he said.

Grassroots football in the state

Keditsu observed that Nagas love football but are lagging in grassroots development. He maintained that the ‘society and the football associations’ need to look after the grassroots so that ‘we can build up tremendous player in the upcoming days’.

According to him, Nagaland has a ‘good number of clubs, including some academies and lots of licensed coaches’.

‘The services of the coaches can be used to hone the skills of the budding talents of youngsters in schools so that studies (academics) and sport can go hand-in-hand,’ he stated.

Aspirations and expectations

“When we talk about football, people have high expectations from Nagas owing to the legacy of Dr. T Ao, the first independent-India football team captain, and they feel we are the best among them,” according to Keditsu.

The way forward for Nagaland football, in order to export national and international players, is to focus on the grassroots and imbibe discipline among the aspiring kids, he said.

Keditsu shared that it takes ‘many steps to become a footballer- needs dedication and not rely on the coach, government, or others but taking the extra mile in being consistent on training’.

He advised players to be aware of their ‘own levels’ in order to play in different divisions and self-assess.

Further, he stated that the players should also be aware of the tournaments—‘which are recognised and which are not recognised by the associations, in order to develop professionalism and make a career in sport’.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 25, 2020 10:48:40 pm
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