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PIO named as player-coach at just 24!

Inderjeet Singh Aujla, better known as Indy Aujla, is a 24 old British born footballer of Indian origin who at his current club Royal Racing FC Montegnee, a Belgian fourth division outfit has been named as the head coach until the end of the season. If...

Inderjeet Singh Aujla, better known as Indy Aujla, is a 24 old British born footballer of Indian origin who at his current club Royal Racing FC Montegnee, a Belgian fourth division outfit has been named as the head coach until the end of the season. If my information is right then Indy is the youngest coach across Europe at this level.

For Indy the offer initially came as a surprise but after the second manager had to leave the club this season it seemed to be the best solution to see the season out with an internal solution. The RRFC squad is quite international with four Englishmen, two Hungarians and a French national besides a Canadian international player in the squad while the rest of the team coming from Belgium.

Royal Racing FC Montegnee president Peter Johnson, an Englishman based in Panama, spoke highly about his new player-manager, “Indy has shown a renewed desire to succeed in football. At a time when this particular club needed some enthusiasm he was instrumental in providing that and generating what was lacking in team spirit. Those are fundamental requirements, in my opinion, for a coach.”

Meanwhile Indy in a detailed answer said, “It was an offer I couldn’t turn down. I know all the player’s very well and know our strengths and weaknesses. We have lacked the desire in the last third to finish chances. I have opted for a more direct approach as we have two very good winger’s and the last match we played 4-4-2 and created many chances. In training I’ve been working on finishing inside the box, normally the first yard is in the mind and my studies in psychology have paid off as I’m incorporating mental exercises with technical ones. The president is well aware I am looking for a move to play elsewhere next season, but from now until the end of the season i will give my best both on and off the field.”

And Johnson knowing that it will be difficult to keep Indy at RRFC said, “Having watched Indy play, and heard comments from visiting English pro Club coaches, he has the talent to become a very influential team member at much higher levels.”

Indy now sounds more like a coach than a player and very mature for a 24 year old. Speaking about the job Indy said, “I’m learning a manager’s work in never done 24/7 job. It’s all good experience for me. I’ve always believed in my abilities and management is definitely an avenue I’m interested in after I retire from playing.”

Peter Johnson added, “He is a very good player and has the respect of his peers and, in time when he finishes actually playing, with the proper coaching courses behind him I think he a good chance of succeeding as a coach.”

For Indy coaching at Royal Racing FC Montegnee is a big task, but at 24 his football career is still at an early stage; but the experience he makes now will come good once he finishes playing and turns into a full-time coach.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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