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Interview with new DSK Shivajians Football Club head coach Derrick Pereira ahead of 2015/16 I-League

Derrick Pereira spoke about I-League's new entrant DSK Shivajians Football Club and what Indian football needs to progress

Derrick Pereira
DSK Shivajians Football Club’s new head coach – Derrick Pereira

Derrick Pereira is a man with ideas and he doesn’t hesitate to them either. Taking up his fifth assignment as a manager of DSK Shivajians, the former international defender spoke to Sportskeeda about the new job and his general vision about the Indian football.

You have been with the I-League team as a coach but took up a Second Division team what was the force behind this?

I always wanted to be involved in the game, no matter which team I coach, be it a second division side or any other. DSK Shivajians have all the facilities the infrastructure and their tie-up with Liverpool is something which prompted me to take up the job.

Shirish Kulkarni,  the executive Director, Liverpool International Football Academy did speak to me long ago. He has a vision and his ideas of developing the football were the forces behind me being here in Pune.

It was a second division team when you took up the job in the month of September last year, but now they DSK Shivajians are roped into the main I-League would you call it a blessing in disguise?

Yes, more importantly, I am happy that I am back in the I-league and it is a blessing. I would say that all I want is to be a part of this beautiful game which is more important for me and being with DSK Shivajians which compromises of youth and experienced players is a blessing.

There is no doubt that you are one of the best coaches Indian has seen in this era, and even AIFF acknowledged you with the best coach award in the year 2012/13. What according to you make a good coach?

Shaping up the players for competition in the right manner, knowing their do’s and don’t’s, taking the think tank’s ideas into consideration. The most important aspect is to be satisfied with the job and doing all for the love of the game.

Everyone involved in the team would always want to win, I also want the team to win, but in the right way. I would not hesitate to say, we lost because we played badly. Rectify the setbacks and taking all the positive forward.

You have won all the possible trophies as a player, what is that which you have to accomplish as a coach?

Getting the players to work as a team. All I want is to give the team a feeling of a family and that will keep them together. As a coach one has to play the role as a head of the family. Give it back to the game which has made you what you are today.

You started coaching with the Salgaocar U-18 team, and then graduated into the bigger league with the big names like Vasco SC, Mahindra United, Pune FC, Salgaocar SC and now DSK Shivajians. Which assignment has been you best so far?

Every assignment has been good and there is nothing that can be compared, but I would say, not because I am with them (DSK) now, This DSK Shivajians have all in place, the infrastructure and academy and their tie up with the best European team in Liverpool make it something which many of our clubs miss out on. I want to give the best shot here and carry on.

Your playing career has been for over 18 years. Do you feel all is well in Indian football?

No. The pace of our approach is there, but very slow pace compared to the other nations across the globe. We need to see a drastic change in the administration, infrastructure and the mindset of old methods of coaching has to be changed.

What are the new challenges you face with this new club?

Every club has challenges. And when taking these challenges in the positive frame of mind and promoting the youngsters, one needs to sustain the positives of the club and take it forward and thrash out the negatives. There is nothing as a new challenge about the new club. I have a job on hand to promote the game and one can achieve that if one loves his job.

What is your take on Indian Super League?

Indian players did see some money through this league, and they also got to rub shoulders with big names in world football. I would like to see world renowned youngsters come for this league. The most important positive move is the way the crowd turned up to cheer the teams, which was overwhelming, at places like Kerala Goa, Kolkata, Northeast and other centres wherein the league was played.

We have never seen the crowd turn out for football in the past. The I-league organisers should take the cue from the ISL and take it forward.

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