Clubs should spot, nurture young talent: Constantine

Clubs should spot, nurture young talent: Constantine

Indian football coach Stephen Constantine insisted that football in India could make big progress if various clubs across the country scout and nurture talent from an young age.

“It’s up to the clubs to tap potential talent and nurture them,” said the Brit on the sidelines of a pre-season tie between Bengaluru FC and India U-19 here on Saturday.

“I don’t think we need something like the AIFF Academy where we nurture young talent. The clubs can do a better job at that. India, today, has clubs spread across the country. And if these clubs look for talent in their region, that should help their cause. The clubs should feed talent to the national side — including the age group sides — and not the other way around,” he added.

Constantine stated that it was the lack of a proper scouting network that has affected the Indian footballing set-up for long. With not many trained eyes to look out for talent, the Englishman said that there should be an increase in the number of scouts who can look for players.

“It’s a tough task. Given how big India is, we will need time to hunt for talent. But now we have a base here. The AIFF has taken up the initiative to train scouts and that’s what Derek Bragg was here for (the scouting workshop). There are 7-8 players new in this (U-19) team. And that’s the result of the scouting that has been done in the last few months.

s a year and expect to select the national team. Any competition, any game, scouts will have to tap talent,” he added.

With the U-19 side being involved in three continental competitions this year, Constantine said that it was good to see the boys getting enough game time. “It’s always good to play competitive games. You could train all day long, but if you don’t have enough games under your belt, you have a serious disadvantage. This game (against Bengaluru FC) is a good test,” he quipped.

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