Behind the Game: Nathaniel Da Costa
Besides its community development initiatives, Forca Goa has a statewide grassroots programme with 16 centres spread across the State. Nathaniel Da Costa joined Forca Goa as a sports writer and community manager because of his love for football and passion towards community development . He always loved football but had never really worked in a technical role. We recently had the opportunity to send people from our team for a premier skills coaches workshop in Mumbai. Nathaniel took this opportunity as a step to pursue his football ambitions. We sat down with him to discuss what it means to him to be a coach and all things football.
FG: What does football mean to you?
ND:Football was always fun for me. Either playing the game on the field, the console, watching it live or on TV. I can spend hours reading about football or watching football videos. I love reading and trying to understand more about the game, especially the tactical side of it. It’s great that my profession involves being part of a sport I love.
FG: When and how did you think of becoming a coach?
ND : I always thought that coaching would be a fun thing to do but never thought I would actually do it. I always thought only professional players or people really involved with the game could become coaches. I think all football fans secretly dream of coaching a team someday. I was involved in football as a journalist and in the media since 2008 and when I got the opportunity to get my coaching badges through my club I saw it as a chance to take my passion for the game further.
FG: What impact do you think a coach has on his players?
ND : Especially at the grassroots level, a coach is more than just a football coach. He is a role model and an influencer. Its his job to make sure that the pitch is the safest place for a child to come to. It is also his job to introduce kids to the game and ensure they have fun.
FG: What do you enjoy the most about working with the grassroots program?
ND : The enthusiasm the kids have for the game and the happiness it brings to them. The smiles and energy the kids have as soon as they step onto a pitch is contagious. Everyone just seems to be having so much fun. A lot of coaches talk about players that they spotted or developed when the player was a child and that is something that motivates me a lot.
FG: What is your dream coaching job?
ND : To coach Real Madrid obviously. I have recently got into coaching so for now I want to learn and get as much experience as I can. My immediate targets are to develop our grassroots program and then eventually move up the coaching ladder at FC Goa.
FG : How do you think football is developing in Goa?
ND : FC Goa has a strong grassroots plan in place where they are engaging with kids from the age of 5 onwards at their 16 centres. Each centre has passionate and certified coaches and I think there’s incredible opportunity for kids to learn and develop into good players. Everyone talks about how the number of quality players coming from Goa is dropping and I hope the grassroots program can reverse that trend.