The first module of the AFC Pro Licence Course concluded at the Cooperage here with national coach Wim Koevermans, a reputed UEFA Pro-Licence Instructor in Europe, acting as the course instructor and was hailed by the participants as a good learning experience.
"It was a great experience with the students and is the first step of education for all the participants. This was the first module and three more follows. The aim is to bring football in India to a higher-level," the national coach said after the conclusion of the course.
All India Football Federation's general secretary Kushal Das, who paid a visit to the Cooperage on the penultimate day, said the course, held for the first time in the country, was "a benchmark as far as coach education in India" was concerned.
"We are fortunate to have Wim as the instructor," he said.
Besides being an UEFA Pro-Licence instructor, Koevermans has also conducted Pro-Licence Courses in The Netherlands, Ireland and many other European Countries. This was his first-ever Pro-Licence Course in Asia.
Arthur Papas, a former India U-22 national team coach presently in charge of Dempo SC, and Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa hailed the Module.
While Papas said it was a "positive learning experience", Bencherifa claimed it as a "success".
"Considering this is the first AFC Pro License ever organised in India I'm extremely grateful to the AIFF for being one of the few Foreign Coaches accepted to participate," Papas said.
"Our instructors Wim Koevermans and Rob Baan have managed to create a very open learning environment in a formal setting through their method of teaching. This has provided the perfect setting to refine, develop and gain further knowledge in areas such as preparation, tactical analysis, training methods, management and leadership amongst many other facets the professional coach has to learn to deal with.
"I'm already looking forward to our next Module, the study tour to Japan," he added.
"The course was a success as it had an imminent football expert in Wim Koevermans who knew what he is talking about having long experience at highest level. I want to highlight his patience with us during the past-three weeks," said Bencherifa.
"I would like to mention the contribution of Rob Baan during the time he had spent with us. I feel that that with the information which we were taught, we are now better equipped to face the new challenges of our coaching job," the Moroccan said.
Former India player Khalid Jamil, presently in charge of Mumbai FC, said the real work "begins now."
"Under Koevermans, we have learnt a lot. He shared his experience and was patient with us. But the real test begins now. Its up to us, the participant coaches to go and implement what we have been taught. Unless we are able to do it, the purpose gets defeated,” he said.
Mariano Dias, head coach of I-League champions Churchill Brothers, was happy he and the other participants learnt a lot.
"We learnt about systems; we learnt about periodisation; we learnt about preparations, etc. We shared our ideas and Koevermans encouraged all of us," he remarked.
The participants include Arthur Papas, Khalid Jamil, Faruk Ahmad, Mariano Dias, Scott O'Donell, Hilal Parray, Stanley Rozario, Thangboi Singto, Karim Bencherifa, S Geevarghese, Marcos Pacheco, Santosh Kashyap, P Kunhikrishnan.