Shanmugam Venkatesh to replace Floyd Pinto as Indian Arrows, India U-19 coach

The AIFF committee members felt Venkatesh's appointment as Indian Arrows coach would enable the smooth transition of the players into the senior team.

India's assistant coach Shanmugam Venkatesh (extreme left) will take over as the Indian Arrows and India U-19 coach.   -  Special Arrangement

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) technical committee has decided to promote Shanmugam Venkatesh, who was senior team coach Igor Stimac's assistant, as the head coach of the Indian Arrows and India U-19 men's national team.

During the technical committee meeting held on Friday under the chairmanship of Shyam Thapa, the committee members felt Venkatesh's appointment would enable the smooth transition of the Indian Arrows players into the senior team. Floyd Pinto was the Arrows' coach in the I-League since 2017.

Pinto presented a detailed report explaining the reason for the disappointing performance in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers in Saudi Arabia, where India lost all three matches.

At the same time, the committee decided that Floyd be given an opportunity to improve and gain more experience under the AIFF technical team’s supervision. The committee also appreciated the fact that players from the Arrows’ set-up are already part of the senior team set-up.

Stimac gave a detailed presentation on the performance of the Indian team in its last five qualifying matches of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and also provided an analysis of what needs to be done to improve the performance in the next three qualifying matches.

The committee members were unanimous about the improvement in the current style of play, and the fighting spirit of the Indian team. They felt the team is moving in the direct direction.

Abhishek Yadav, director of the national teams, also provided an update on other youth national teams, the senior women’s national team, and also the preparation of the Indian women’s U-17 team for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup set to be staged in India next year.

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