Interviewing one of the “Best Coach” winner from KCL.

Interview with parent – coach Alfred Mendes.

Sir, could you please introduce yourself and your team?

My name is Alfred Mendes and I am the parent-coach for the side Kenkre Jaguars. We are a side who started with the very first KCL tournament in the Under 10 category. The tournament we came third, we won a bronze. Then from the second edition onwards we have kept winning silvers. So Kenkre Jaguars has been a team that I, as a parent coach has built over the years. The team comprises of students from the Kenkre Academy.  So they are from different schools. So we try and pick up talented kids not just talent, but talent with the right ability, with the right fitness levels and most importantly with the right attitude which I believe is the most important.

What are your thoughts about the KCL tournament?

KCL is the tournament that we as a team look forward to, every year. So there are two tournaments that we look forward to, one is the KCL and the other is the Go Green which follows the KCL.  As a tournament, the KCL is extremely well organised and I am proud to say that it is a part of the Kenkre Academy. I think it is one of the best tournaments as it brings the brightest lads across Mumbai and helps promote the game at the grass root level which very few tournaments are able to attract.

What do you think about your team’s progress over the years?

Over the years, we have tried to build this team as I mentioned. And I am proud to say that the team has the right spirit of the game which I believe in. Play in the right sense that is to play fair and avoid to foul the other players as well to avoid to go against the referee or take a stance against the referees. We practice twice a week and we try to build on these three areas – Attitude, Skill and Fitness.

Do you see your players with the potential to reach the next level?

Precisely everyone in the team which is why we are doing so well. We believe that our players not only have what it takes to perform at the grass root level but build football as their career in life. With that vision, we give them hope and we give them direction. It may or may not translate into a career but the least it would do for them is help them in other areas of life.

Any message for the parents and the other kids.

For the parents, I would say keep encouraging because your child won’t reach the pinnacle of success without your involvement and without your encouragement. And once your child sees that he/she will put in the extra efforts to get there.

For the kids, just keep playing to the best of your abilities. Try to improve every time you play. Improvements happen in steps and not overnight. It’s about playing better every time you step on the field. Football is a team game and kids must learn to play for the team from the grass root levels.

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