I want to see my players representing India

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Lawrence Bing is a former national player who possesses 15 years of coaching experience and runs a football academy at Sports Authority of India, Kandivali from last seven years. Belonging to a small town named Ambernath in Thane district, he believes focussing on grassroot level kids and utilising their energy in sports can be the key to achieve success. In an exclusive chat with our correspondent Gautam Korde, Lawrence has shared his thoughts on sports infrastructure development and expressed his ambition to give best footballers to India at an international level.

How was India’s performance in Under 17 FIFA World Cup? 

Performance of Indian football team was very good; it surpassed our expectations. Our team was competing with both the high ranking teams of America and Columbia. There is a big difference between India and other teams.

What and how according to you should be the development of Indian Football?

Government and football body should focus on promoting the game at grassroot level. Secondly, India has a good number of international players and government should train them. Now, how to utilise these players? Each international player should be assigned in same age group team and also appoint trained coaches. For example, Naushad Moosa, an international player should be alloted a slot of Under 10 boy’s team.

For everything there should be planning which India did and results were visible in the Under 17 World Cup. These boys were trained for four years that paved way for good results.

What is your view about football in India? 

Football is growing fast in our country as India ranks 107 in FIFA ranking while earlier it was 143 in 2008. But still the government should nurture players at the grassroot level. They should organise more I-League matches for Under 10 and 12 teams every year. Media should give proper coverage to all the football I-League matches. It should be made compulsory for schools to participate in football tournaments organised by the government, federation and association. Women sportsmen are also doing very well in sports like Badminton and Wrestling, so why can’t they emulate this feat in football?

In last 10 years government have started supporting women sportsmen and I think it will take time for women to make their mark in sports. Badminton and Wrestling are two individual games whereas football is a team event. One can join best Badminton academy or Wrestling or any individual and with hard work can shine. But in case of Football it’s difficult. Most of the Under 17 World Cup players hail from poor family background.

What is your dream? What is your take about some of the industrialists and politicians making a foray into sports to support it?

At present, industrialists who are supporting sports are Reliance, Tatas and JSW. I feel more people should take interest. But politicians should stay away from this field.

What is your ambition?
My ambition is to make kids play at grassroot level, so they invest their energy in sports rather than wasting it on indoor technologies. I also want to see my players representing India.