Vishnu Nair, a physiotherapist with the AIFF U-13 regional academy in Goa, is convinced India will reap rewards of his efforts at the U-17 world cup that India will be hosting in the year 2017 We are grooming kids who will stun you with their game, says Vishnu.
A year ago Vishnu Nair got a host of offers to work with professional football clubs in Dubai for thrice the salary he had been living on. But he never had second thoughts about snubbing the opportunity as he had a bigger plan at the back of his head.
This week, the native of Kollam, who works as physiotherapist with the U-13 regional academy of all India football federation in Goa was rewarded for his persistence when India was declared as the host of 2017 FIFA Under-17 world cup.
“I knew I would never regret my decision to stay back. From the time India got shortlisted I was sure we would host the world cup,“ says Vishnu, who has been involved with the elite academy ever since it started a year ago. He feels honoured to be working with the future of Indian football and believes he could never have been just as proud had he chosen to leave the country . He now lives a dream of becoming the first Indian physio of the first Indian team at the world cup.
“I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. The kids and the support staff are also excited. At least a few of the kids who graduate from here will be in the team that represents India in the world cup and God willing I will be there too.
“There is something we want to tell the world out there, including our coun trymen that the work that is done at the academy is world class. We are grooming a bunch of kids who will stun you with their game when its time,“ he says.
Having worked previously with clubs like Viva Kerala in the I-League, Vishnu is in a better position to say how different this Indian team is from its predecessors or from the general understanding of what a team from India can be.
“I've been to a few countries with this team and I can tell you the kind of training we impart is among the best in the world.
For example, static stretching training is old school and even though a lot of clubs still do it we never do it. Our training system is part of the curriculum devised by technical director Rob Baan,“ says Vishnu.
He is buoyed by the wave of excitement that has gripped the entire nation and is hoping the three long years just skips by in a flash....