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Indian International Defender Anwar Invited for Coventry City FC Training Stint

Indian international defender Anwar, who had been left out by interim coach Armando Colaco from his squad of probables, is on his way to England for a three week training stint with English Championship side Coventry City FC.It isn't a trial or anythin...

Indian international defender Anwar, who had been left out by interim coach Armando Colaco from his squad of probables, is on his way to England for a three week training stint with English Championship side Coventry City FC.

It isn’t a trial or anything of the sort, but rather a training stint which has been made possible by Coventry City FC’s associate director Jasvir Singh Sandhu and CCFC Asia.

Since the start of 2010 CCFC Asia have been working with Coventry University to bring coaches and sports science experts to the football academy of Youth FC in Rurka Kalan. And Anwar happens to have been part of the first batch of players from this football academy from Rurka Kalan, a village near Phagwara in Punjab.

“We hope this will be the first of many players making the journey from India to Coventry City in the UK, building on the foundations that are already in place,” said Alan Malik, chairman of CCFC Asia. Jas Sandhu the president of CCFC Asia and a major YFC supporter is especially pleased that Anwar, a YFC product is coming to the UK.

At YFC Anwar is seen as by the players as the role model who not only made it to play for JCT, Dempo and Mohun Bagan; but also has gone on to play for Team India. Talking about the opportunity Anwar said, “I was on a vacation and it was while I was back home that I met some youth coaches and physiotherapists from Coventry University to train the boys in the YFC Rurka Kalan Academy.”

“I was informed that Mr. Jasvir Singh Sandhu, who is the brainchild behind YFC Rurka Kalan, is also the associate director of Coventry City. Our YFC President Gurmangal Dass organised all this trip for me. But I was aware of the India camp and hence we didn’t decide on anything back then. But since I wasn’t part of the India squad, the president of our club – Gurmangal Dass, spoke to Mr. Jasvir and mentioned about this,” Anwar added.

But Anwar isn’t the first Indian player to visit and train with Coventry City. During the 2002 Jamaica vs India tour the then Indian national team had visited the old Coventry City stadium for a match against Nottingham Forest. In January 2009 then striker Sunil Chhetri was at Coventry City FC for a couple of days, but no deal could be struck.

John Clarke OBE, Vice-Chairman of Coventry City FC, has said, “We are delighted to welcome Anwar to join us for training at the Coventry City training ground at Ryton for the next few weeks. We very much hope he benefits from the experience of training with our players and Manager Andy Thorn.”

“As a club we are committed to engaging more closely with not only the Indian community locally but indeed in developing soccer links in India and we would like to thank our Associate Director Jas Sandhu for organising this initiative through the Academy he sponsors in India,” John Clarke added.

One hopes that Anwar uses the opportunity and improves as a player before he returns to his club Mohun Bagan AC.

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