Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Would Arunachal ever be able to produce footballer of repute?

Jainem Memorial Football Tournament recently concluded at Jairampur which saw participation of teams from neighboring state Assam, besides the local teams. This Football tournament is being organized since past 3 years by an ASM of the area in memory of his daughter who departed for heavenly abode at a tender age of 6.

Arif mailed me some moments of the tournament that he captured during the finals, which was played between Balinong Village Club and 9th Mile Club of Assam, where Balinong Village Club defeated the Assam Club very convincingly by 3-0. The winning team carried away the trophy along with cash prize of INR 14000/- whereas runner-up team had to contend with cash award of INR 7000/-.

In his mail, Arif remarked that watching Arunachal football is an altogether different experience as he finds it more 'dynamic' and 'dashing', which I couldn't agree more and it triggered a whole lot of thought process in me.

In a State where football is followed religiously and played with great zeal, I wonder, why is it not able to produce even a single footballer of repute from the state?

Let's see what could be the reasons.

Is it because we lack talent or potential?

Like above Jainem Memorial Football Tournament, several other football tournaments are organized in the state like Tadar Tang Memorial Football Tournament, Dree Football Tournament etc. Having heard about the performance of teams and players in these tournaments and having closely followed Dree Football Tournament since long, where the teams displays very good coordination, skills and game tactics without any formal coaching or training, it doesn't seem that the Arunachalee footballer’s lack talent or skills. All they need is proper grooming to show competitive performance in the national event and to win the tournament. Then......

Is it that the State lacks proper training institute or coaching centers to groom the players?

May be, but then, don't we have Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy?

Does the footballer lack exposure?

Certainly, that’s what I feel. Though, the footballer of the state has the exposure to local tournaments, I feel they have very little exposure to national level tournaments or events from where they could learn and improve their game play. Also if exposed, they could show their true potential and talent to attract the potential Selectors of the football clubs or the national team.

Don’t we have Football Federation/Association to promote Football and footballers?

Well, we have Arunachal Pradesh Football Association with its office at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun and Jarbom Gamlin as President and G. Doke as Secretary. In the AIFF official website, it has been mentioned that there is lot of disparity in functioning of the State Associations with some of the Associations having only one room as it’s office where the attendance of the office bearer is irregular. Also, some of the State Associations regulation is not in conformity with the AIFF regulation.

“There is a lot of disparity in the functioning of the State Associations.

A few State Associations, which have the resources, have well equipped and well staffed office. Some have just one room office where the Secretary or any other office bearer comes after the office hours of his regular work/job.”

So, do our State Football Association fall in that category where the Association is formed and office bearer selected for the sake of it without doing much for promoting Football in the State?

Is it because the footballers have never thought of Football as their career option?

I was having a discussion with friend on what could be the reasons for Arunachalee footballers not exceeding in football despite having immense natural talent. His blunt reply was ‘physique’ which I felt, to a certain extent was true. Apart from that he said that the State Footballer has never taken Football seriously to be considered as their career option or profession and there is always no support from family to pursue the game as their profession.

Here, I would say there is lack of government support. I haven’t heard of any special initiative by the government to promote outstanding sportspersons (well, atleast not in my knowledge :)). Perhaps this has dissuaded the aspiring footballers to take football seriously to be considered as their profession and has made their parents not to encourage them to follow football seriously.

Now coming to the question, ‘pan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: bold;">Would Arunachal ever be able to produce footballer of repute?

Well, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. But, I feel with little support from government or individuals who are capable of sponsoring the talented sportsperson and little initiative of APFA we can produce footballer of repute. What do you say?

P.S. Well, I've poured in my thoughts and I would like to hear from you on whether Arunachal would be able to produce footballer of repute or on what could be the reasons that you are able to come up that is preventing the talented footballers from making it's mark. Do pour in your comments.


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