In Grassroots

Benjamin Silva is a grassroots coach who has over 30 years of experience in the beautiful game. We go behind the game to find out what motivated him to become a coach.

Benjamin Silva has been involved with football for over 30 years. He started as a player with Vasco Sports Club and got his coaching badges in the AIFF batch of ’99, along with former Dempo coach Armando Colaco. Soon after, he also got his referee badges and was on the FIFA international panel of referees for 10 years. Returning to coaching in 2001, he has since been actively involved with our grassroot program, overseeing the training centres in Velim. Here’s our interview with him encompassing all things football.

What do you like most about coaching?

After being involved with football for so long, coaching allows me to give back to the game. I think coaching is special because it allows you to learn a lot about the sport.

How has your experience been working with kids?

I’ve been coaching for 27 years and I love working with kids. This is the fourth batch of kids that I’m coaching. What I’ve realised is that the game keeps changing so you have to keep yourself updated with what’s going on. As a coach you have to be able to develop the mental side of the game now, not just the physical aspect. What I like about training kids is that they are always open to learn from you. What you can teach kids, you cannot always teach senior professionals.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve been lucky to have worked with some wonderful people through my career. There are two moments that stand out for me. The first was when I was the assistant coach for the state team for the Santosh Trophy in 2011-12. The second was the three Royston Cup trophies I won as coach for Phoenix School in Belgaum.

If not a coach what career would you have chosen?

I always loved coaching and was always into sports and, particularly, football. I can’t think of anything else that I would rather do. I was a referee for a decade but my heart lies in coaching.

What is your dream coaching job?

I absolutely love working with kids so in that way, this is my dream job. I was always passionate about working with youngsters and luckily FC Goa approached me and roped me in for the grassroot program. It’s great to see what the club is doing for kids across so many age groups.

Who is your inspiration?

It has to be Sir Jawaharlal, my physical education teacher from Loyola High School. He was the one who pushed me to take up football as at that time I was a basketball player. There was also a senior from school Marcus Pacheco, who always pushed himself to be a better player.

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