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12 weeks in India for Royals coaches

21 May 2014

Blog on time in Arunachal Pradesh

Two coaches from Reading FC are currently out in India, as the club continues to provide support to one of the up and coming nations of world football.

The Royals coaches from our Community Trust, Keith Greene and Jamie Carr, are lending their expertise for an initial period of six months in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is one of the seven states making up the Northeast region and borders the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland and is rated by Lonely Planet as one of the World’s top ten holiday destinations.

Keith and Jamie recently got in touch with the club, to keep us up-to-date with their time out in India...

India has been a huge culture shock to us since we arrived in Delhi. From the chaotic traffic to the relentless heat, it has been a fun and challenging few weeks while adapting to the Indian way of life.

We first arrived in Arunachal Pradesh, which is located in the North Eastern tip of India two weeks ago. This would be our home for the next six months while we coach the local Indian children the Reading way.

Arunachal Pradesh is a rural state in India, Itanagar being the capital city, and this is where we would base ourselves for the majority of our stay in India. Itanagar is very different to what we are both used to in Ireland and the UK. I'll give you an example; the roads are not what we are accustomed to in the western world, here the roads are poorly developed with tarmac being a scarce luxury in the local area.

The people from North East India are known for their keen interest in football, dominating all other sports including cricket. Although very different, we have both settled in to the local cultures and traditions well, and in particular we have found the people of Arunachal Pradesh to be extremely welcoming towards us.

Our role here is to further cement Reading Football Club's already-strong relationship with the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association and Government. We are coaching children of all ages in the local community, whilst following the Reading FC Academy structure. With the U17 World Cup being held here in India in 2017, we are hoping to develop children from the local area to give them the best possible chance of representing India in the 2017 World Cup.

We began coaching here at Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy. Although the facilities and pitch available to us are not what you would expect in the UK, the players here are accustomed to sandy pitches and have adapted the way they play football to suit this surface. We have been coaching the U14 and U17 teams who have shown a great attitude towards learning and we are happy to say they are beginning to understand the way in which we coach and train players in Reading.

Our early time here has been extremely satisfying as we began to spread the Reading FC brand across Arunachal Pradesh, while embedding the clubs philosophy and ideas into the next generation of Indian footballers. 

More recently, we have travelled to a different district to watch a game in a tournament, travelling Itanagar to Koyu. Although it has not been easy to get from A to B sometimes, our first 12 weeks in India have been an amazing experience and we look forward to more months ahead.

Keith Greene & Jamie Carr

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