The Pailan Arrows, the AIFF’s developmental side in the I-League, introduced their new chief coach Arthur Papas from Australia to the media in a press conference at the Hotel Hindusthan in Kolkata today. The press conference was attended by the AIFF Project Director for the Arrows Subhankar Mukherjee, the Pailan Group chairman Apurba Saha besides Arthur Papas.
The new coaching staff of the Pailan Arrows would consist of Arthur Papas as chief coach, his assistant coaches would be fellow Australian Aaron Symon, who is new, and Sujit Chakraborty; while Tanomoy Bose would continue as Goalkeeping Coach.
At the press conference it was disclosed that in total 36 players had been signed for the Pailan Arrows with all players in the Under-23 category and an aim to develop talent for the senior national team.
Arthur Papas comes to the Arrows after having coached the India Under-22 boys at the AFC U-22 Championship qualifiers in Oman. The team impressed everyone with their strong displays and numerous of the Under-22 boys are part of the Arrows or have joined the team over the summer.
Speaking about the pressure of coaching the Arrows Papas said, “Being a new team, our aim is to ensure we improve on our performance. We all know about our poor performance in the last two seasons. So I am hoping we can better that.”
Papas said about the fact that his boys cannot get relegated from the I-League, “The best thing about the team is that it has young kids who want to win all the time and are not worried about being relegated. It neither demotivates them nor demotivates me. I used to coach the team in Australia under the same format and now the team tops the league there,” Papas added.
“The ultimate point is to play and improve and then finally play for India. There is no denying that we have to develop last year’s show and we are confident. My experience has been positive here and I feel more and more games will help the player grow,” Papas added.
So far the young Aussie has impressed with his coaching, but the Pailan Arrows and a whole season of the I-League will be a different affair than international youth football.
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Published with permission from Arunava about Football.