Jets' Papas to coach Indian youth soccer
A post-season trip to the Indian sub-continent has resulted in Newcastle Jets' youth league coach Arthur Papas being offered the Indian under-22 head coaching role.
Papas was delighted to accept the opportunity to continue his development as a coach overseas and to be involved in Indian football at a time of great change.
"I'm only 32, and it's a very exciting time to be involved in Indian football. I think it is very important for my coaching education to coach across Asia," Papas said.
"With a huge population, FIFA is very keen to grow the game there... I'm very keen to show what I can offer."
It will be a whirlwind couple of weeks for Papas as he goes into camp with the Indian side on June 1 in Dubai.
The squad have organised a 10-day training camp at the quarters of UAE club Al-Wasl who are coached by Diego Maradona and hope to organise a friendly match against the Argentine's team as preparation for their AFC under-22 Asian Cup qualifying campaign beginning next month.
Following the tournament in Oman Papas will continue coaching the side in the domestic I-League where they play as the Pailan Arrows.
"The fact that the players play together in the national domestic league is a positive for Indian football," Papas said.
Papas who has a track record of developing young talent is under no illusions about the challenge that awaits him on the sub-continent.
"India is not the strongest in world football right now, but there is a lot of talent in the players over there and coaching them technically is a work in progress.
"Indian football is undergoing a change of philosophy about how they play the game.
"In a way, they're in a very similar position to where Australia was a few years ago when we were trying to implement a national system.
"Down the track, if we do well in the (Asian Cup) qualifying matches, I may even get the chance to coach against Australia."