East Bengal Coach Armando Colaco during a match between East Bengal and Clube de Goa at Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on March 30, 2014. . Image Source: IANS News

(In the continuing series 'Where are they now?', IANS tracks down former player and now coach Armando Colaco and asks him what he plans to do in the coming days)
By Jagannath Chatterjee

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Armando Colaco is an ambitious man for his age. At 65-years-old, he is waiting for a call-up for an important coaching assignment.

Colaco currently coaches youngsters in 12-to-16 years age-group in Goa and believes that if given an opportunity he could even coach the Indian national men's team.

"I cannot live without football. Football has given me everything, I want to pass on my experience to these young stars. I am sure if at least two out of the 47 boys I am training now can represent the country, it would be a big achievment," he said.

He does not run an academy for which, he says, proper infrastructure is needed. He coaches the boys on Sundays and holidays as a "personal venture".

"See, to run an academy you need to have infrastructure, proper training ground, you need people to take care of it. I only call them on holidays and Sundays. I am doing this on my own," Colaco said.

Colaco's last major assignment was his stint with the Goa state team which took part in the 72nd Santosh Trophy, AIFF's interstate tournament, held in Kolkata in 2018.

With four National League titles in his kitty and other laurels like being the first I-League manager to guide an Indian club into the semi-finals of the AFC Cup, he is regarded as one of the best coaches following his success with Goan teams Churchill Brothers SC and Dempo SC.

Colaco says he was encouraged by his teachers Fr Joseph Casti and Fr Thomas at Don Bosco to play the game. In the 1970-71 season, he joined Dempo where coach Joseph Ratnam taught his wards how to play football with discipline. He played for Dempo for the next 14 years. And then in 1985 he called it a day.

After his retirement, he was persuaded by AIFF bigwigs to take up coaching. In 1985, it was Salcete Football Club. The big offer came in 1988-89 from Sesa, Goa which he grabbed with both hands. Hereon his coaching career took off.

From 1994 till 2015, Colaco managed big clubs like Churchill Brothers, Dempo and East Bengal winning various titles including three I-League titles with Dempo. In the 2011 season, became coach of the Indian National Team which took part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Colaco feels he is fit to take up any big assignment, which he feels he will get once his contract with FC Bardez comes to an end.

"I was under a contract with one of the clubs here in Goa, FC Bardez, which I coached when I came back to Goa from Kolkata after finishing my assignment with East Bengal. By May 2019 it is getting over. So I may go to any club and coach," Armando told IANS from Goa.

(Jagannath Chatterjee can be contacted at jagannath.c@ians.in)


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