I’m nothing without my team – Robert Chettair, Malvani S.C Head Coach

As the dust settled on a thrilling finale to the MDFA 3rd Division we have a look back at some of the men who made the difference for their teams. Eventhough, coach Robert Cherriar and his team had to settle for a runners-up’s place, the story of Malvani F.C’s campaign has plenty of drama on offer

So we caught up with Robert Chettiar the humble coach behind the Malvani Sports Club recent Runners Up trophy in the 3rd Division MDFA and also a Coach at Arsenal football School and at 30 he has started with an initiative called ‘Virtuoso Football Academy’ which works to improve Football Quality and skill.

You have resurrected Malvani FC from a grass root level again how was the experience?

Personally I like to work with small kids, Its more fun and we can teach them basics, without thinking about the results. As kids want to play for fun and not to win. So we can see the development more in the smaller group
Hence, I started coaching in schools around the area..which helped more people to know about Football.

How will you Prepare yourself for second Division?

I think the difference between 3rd and 2nd Division is not that much. The only difference will be the tempo of the game, the 2nd Division players play a little faster. When I started off my idea was 3rd Division we had 5 good players in a team who can change the game while others support, In the 2nd Division 7 good players play others support. In the 1st Division there are 9 players and 2 support that basically better quality faster the game.

How are you as a coach ?
I’m basically a control freak, even if we don’t have the ball I still want my players to control everything that happens. Where I want the opposite team to attack from is decided by me not by them that’s how they are brought up. What I have learnt from my coaches down the years that’s what I’m trying to implement.

Tell us about Virtuoso Football Academy ?

Virtuoso academy works with small and under privileged children started by a few friends, who wanted to do something together.
As I am a football coach…we thought we will start football coaching for the children at our place. Aim is to introduce every kid in the area to football. Virtuoso… Is for everyone, who every wants to come and learn and enjoy football.
There is no selections to be a part of Virtuoso; We take who ever comes, Train them, teach them, give them ample opportunities to showcase their skills.

In this we get help of Orlem church (Allows ground to train these kids once in a week). As we don’t have ground or place to practice. We sometimes go to aksa beach. Or any place we think is safe and suitable.Mostly the dream for virtuoso is to make good football players who can make life in Football.

What do you think about the influence of I-league and ISL on Indian football?

ISL and I league has brought football in our houses. But the quality is still very low

A message to young Footballers out there…

Practice hard, enjoy, have fun while learning, But with a smile.The biggest problem that I feel is that the coaches waste the players.Because they are taught to win at any cost which makes technique, decision making and mentality all take a back seat.

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