First Interview with Rob Baan

An interview of Rob Baan, The New Technical Director of Indian National Football Team released by All India Football Federation(AIFF) in a Press Release.

By: Nilanjan Datta,
AIFF Media Team

Rob Baan, TD, Indian
National Football Team

What brings you to India?

Challenges are what life is all about. This assignment is a new challenge for me -- the challenge to assist and develop football in India and take it to a higher level

What would your primary role as the Technical Director of the AIFF be?

My primary role is to write a Masterplan and a curriculum for the National Youth Development and to assist in establishing the Elite Academy and the Regional Academies all over the country.

Do you have any knowledge about the domestic footballing structure of India or any input about any specific Indian footballer?

When I was the Technical Director of Australia, I did gather some knowledge about the same. From the moment I join I will do my best to gather all the necessary information and I can only do that when I land in India. Obviously I will travel to watch I-League matches and talk to Coaches to gain first-hand practical knowledge.

How much are you confident of turning the fortunes of Indian football?  

I cannot do it on my own. It’s a team game and I’d need the help of all stakeholders to create the right structure. We need to chalk out and implement realistic plans as that will be the base for future success.

One of the primary concerns raised by many a pundit is the short stature of Indian footballers? What’s your take on that?

Well, we cannot change that. But the game is not entirely about big-bodied players. Ghana-- for example, also have some short-statured players but they did make it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in South Africa.

Not very long back India were seen as one of the giants in Asia. Where do you see Indian football two years from now?

It’s too premature to talk about it at present. I’d be in a better position to answer it after completing a year of my stint in India.

India is a country where infrastructure still stays in its infancy compared to the powerful European Footballing Powerhouses. How much of that is a pain?

It’s useless thinking about it and sitting idle as we have to cope up with the present situation. The scenario just cannot be changed in a short term. As long as it is being addressed in the long run, it’s OK. We need to improvise.

Explain the Dutch School of Football to us.

It’s a vast subject which I’d love to talk about when we meet. The Netherlands is a small country and we are ranked No. 2 in the FIFA ladder at the moment. The success of that achievement can be attributed to the Youth Development System where we are doing well.

What do you believe will be your major challenges? 

My primary objective would be to understand the Indian culture and respecting the moral values, I’d like to introduce Indian Football to a new vision so that it becomes a respected Football Nation in Asia as well as the World.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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