Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rob Baan: I'm extremely pleased with Papas' work

This comes just during the FED Cup fracas. Rob Baan, the Technical Director of AIFF was right here at the Garden City, witnessing the inaugural ceremony of the FIFA Futuro III Grassroots seminar. 

He is really in a different league, a man to helm Indian Football - not seen in the presentation dais, hobnobbing with the top officials, be it AIFF, AFC, or FIFA. 

Rather he chooses a front row – seating next right to media folks. My late entry to the venue ensured a front row (with much insistence from the Football Association officials), and much to my surprise, I was seated next to Rob!
The function went on as scheduled followed by a press meet - read here.
Though not in my initial plan, thought let’s do a quick informal one while our man is right here. Hello Bob, aren’t you going to Fed Cup?
Rob: No, not me this time, I’ve other priorities. Wim is very much there. U-22 coach Arthur Papas fits in your scheme of things and you’re instrumental in getting him in India.  
Rob: Yes, he’s a talented coach, and I’m extremely pleased that way he has been working with the team (India U-22 /Pailan Arrows) so far. Do you have a long term plan with Arthur Papas? 
Rob: Arthur Papas is on a 2-year contract for now, we’ll decide when the contract comes to an end. Saying that Arthur is extremely talented, sure he’ll be having other offers by that time. After you came on board, you’ve chose wards from academies, they initially played well for Arrows and later continued doing the same for country, in U-22 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Any specific plans you have for them? 
Rob: Yes, the idea was to provide a platform for the talents who are yet to be identified by the Indian clubs. They get to play regularly for an I-League team (Arrows), raise their standard, and within few seasons they get integrated with other I-League teams.
Looking at their progress, again, I’m highly satisfied!

[File pic] AIFF’s Technical Director Rob Baan makes a point during the first coaches workshop in December 2011

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