'India need to have a strong two-tier system to improve'

'India need to have a strong two-tier system to improve'

'India need to have a strong two-tier system to improve'

President of the German Football Coaches Association (BDFL), Lutz Hangartner, feels that Indian football has the potential to grow leaps and bounds if a proper system is put in place.

The German, who is touring the country with the German Student National football team said, “The talent pool is massive in India and I have no doubts that in 20 years or so, the country will be a football powerhouse. But for that to happen, there must be a good professional two-tier system in place.”

With years of experience working with coaches, including the likes of Liverpool FC manager Juergen Klopp, Hangartner said that though he hadn’t had the chance to communicate with many coaches in India, giving them a sound education was the key.
“For a coach to be successful, he must given a proper football education. That is something that needs to be taken seriously and given emphasis on in India.

“It will help understand the players better and strategise well,” added the former coach of the student’s side.

Though the name of the team is Student side, the average age is 26, and every squad member has played professional football. In addition, six members of the squad have also represented the German National team at the junior levels.

Having won the first of their two friendlies 1-0 against Mizoram FC in Aizawl, the visitors will be looking to end their tour on a high as they face Ozone FC here on Monday. Skipper Steffen Wohlfarth, who has played for Bayern Munich II, spoke of how the tour encompassed football and a lot of cultural aspects as well.

“None of us (players) have ever travelled to India and we were slightly sceptical before we left but the experience has been great and it is really heartening to see how we have been treated.

“India is very different to Germany in certain social aspects and that has been a real eye opener for us. We got to see a mix of affluence and poverty on one stretch of road, that is something we don’t see back home.”

The 32-year-old electrical engineering student was also all praise for the intensity and passion of the Indian fans.

“We travelled to Aizawl for a friendly and the experience was an amazing one, with over 8,000 fans in the stadium. That was an experiece everyone on the team enjoyed.”
DH News Service