It’s official. Wim Koevermans is India’s new Senior National Team Coach. The Dutchman, whose last assignment was with the Republic of Ireland as High Performance Director, was unveiled by Kushal Das, the General Secretary of All India Football Federation at AIFF Headquarters, the Football House on Friday (June 15).
|Wim Koevermans poses with the National Team colours|
“It’s an honour to be here in India,” Koevermans said in his first official interaction. “I’m looking forward to meeting the boys. I have travelled in many countries and have been fortunate to have played with some Greats and also coached by some legendary coaches,” he declared.
Koevermans was part of the Dutch squad which won the European Football Championship in 1988 under the coaching of Rinus Michels.“I’ve watched some videos of the Indian Team’s recent matches. I will travel to Muscat along with Technical Director Rob Baan to watch India’s matches in the forthcoming AFC U-22 Championship,” he informed.
Kushal Das, who presented an Indian jersey to Koevermans, explained the logic behind employing him as the new Coach. “We didn’t want to hurry into selecting the new Coach. We look forward to working with Wim. The AIFF will be extending its support to him in every possible direction,” he maintained.
Earlier in the day, Koevermans met AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel and interacted with AIFF’s Executive Committee members at the Udyog Bhawan. Koevermans also made a presentation at the meeting which was appreciated by all. The former Dutch International defender thanked Mr. Patel and the Executive Committee for inviting him to India.
“Coach Education stays one of the most pertinent points. Good Coaches will always make a difference at any level,” Wim, who would be also involved in Coach Education during his tenure in India, opined.
|Wim Koevermans during his presentation at AIFF’s Executive Committee meeting|
Wim’s first assignment will be at the Nehru Cup which kicks-off on August 23. The Executive Committee decided the tournament will consist of five-teams including India and would be played on a round-robin basis. The top two teams would qualify for the final which is slated for September 2. The prize money of the Nehru Cup has been doubled to USD 200,000 from USD 100,000.
It was also decided in the meeting that the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of AIFF will kick-start on June 23 with a flag-hoisting ceremony at Football House. The Platinum Jubilee flag will be unfurled by legendary Indian footballer Ahmed Khan on the day. Khan was an integral member of the 1951 Asian Games Gold-medal winning squad.
Meanwhile, Ranti Martins was named as the best forward and Player-of-the-Tournament of the I-League 2011/12. He was adjudged after votes from all I-League Team Captains and Coaches. Besides, Armando Colaco was named as the Best Coach; Karanjit Singh, the Best Goalkeeper; Mahesh Gawli, the Best Defender and Climax Lawrence, the Best Midfielder.