My players deserve all the credit: Augusto D’Silva – Maharashtra U-15 coach

Maharashtra Sub junior champions

Maharashtra U-15 side emerged victorious in the West Zone Qualifying round of the All India sub-junior Championship in Goa last week, as Augusto D’Silva’s side banged in thirty goals in five games to clinch the zonal championship and qualify for the national round to be held in the third week of January.

Augusto D’Silva was the architect of this potent Maharashtra outfit. He spoke to us about his team’s achievement, some finds of this tournament and what it takes to develop a talent out of these young kids.

Q. Your team won the West Zone qualifying round of the All India sub-junior Championship in Goa. What do you think was the key to its success?

Ans: The key to this success were my players. They deserve all the credit for the win. We played five games in a very short span of time and it was difficult for them, but still they did so well. It was difficult for us as we got less time to pick the squad up, so we could not do a lot of scouting, but we picked up a squad and they did well to gel with each other in such a short span of time. But being a coach, I do take responsibility of the team.

Q. Your team was down and out in the last of the league game, trailing 4-1 to Goa at half time. How did you inspire that comeback which saw you get a point with a 5-5 draw?

Ans: We made a lot of technical errors in the first half. I observed that we were holding a very high backline and the Goa forwards had great pace and we struggled against that. I knew and had great belief in my midfield. They were intelligent and technically sound. I told the team to focus on two things; first touch and short passing. Goa were more of a direct team and I knew if we could get hold of the ball, we could create problems for them. We had practiced these two things a lot and it paid off as we scored within five minutes of the second half and they got a red card. Then we were leading 5-4 but we made an error while defending the corner and it was 5-5. We played very well in the second half. Kamran was really good for us as he scored a hat-trick.

Q. What difficulties do you face while dealing with this age group (U-15) of players? How do you deal with them?

Ans: At such a small age, my focus is on preparation. We need to prepare them technically. The focus is all on that rather than winning. Its very important to have a strong grass root base. I use a lot of visuals to show them how to play. The other day I was teaching the forwards how to split a defense through videos. It helps them understand in a much better way. So the videos have become a very important aspect of coaching and needs to be used extensively.

Q. Could you pick out the real finds of this tournament?

Ans: There were a lot of good players on show. But from our side, I would say our entire midfield is good. Nakul is the player which has impressed me a lot. He is one of the best players at this level in my opinion. Then there is Kamran who has scored a bagful of goals for us and Aman Kirnapure too. From the other team, Boris and Myron from Goa were the two kids, who I felt had a lot of potential. They need good coaching and they will be great for the country in the future. I am glad that many of them are under good coaches with their clubs or schools.

Q. Going into the National Round, how would you rate your team’s chances?

Ans: After what I saw in Goa, I feel we can win this tournament. We beat a Goa team who had practiced for more than five weeks and we hardly had the time to practice. So if we could get a good time practicing together we can do wonders. There is a big difference between the qualifying round and the final round as in the final round all the teams are winners and there is slightly more pressure. But I am confident about my team’s abilities and we have a good chance to at least make the final.

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…