Ex-cadet back as TFA coach - Carlton Chapman takes up new job

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By JAYESH THAKER in Jamshedpur
  • Published 10.12.02

Jamshedpur, Dec. 10: He must not have imagined in his wildest dreams that the Tata Football Academy (TFA) would be requisitioning his services to coach cadets. But a phone call from the academy had the former India captain Carlton Chapman packing his bags to take up the new assignment with one of the premier football institutions of the country.

Chapman, who, during his career, regaled the crowd with his deft midfield skills, has been roped in by the TFA where he was once a cadet, learning the nuances of the game. “It is a homecoming of sorts for me. I am very excited. Never in my life had I thought of landing a job of a coach at an academy where I learnt soccer,” Chapman told The Telegraph, after a strenuous practice session with the boys this evening.

Thirty-two-year-old Chapman’s job at the TFA would be to work in tandem with coach Ranjan Choudhary and assistant coach Vijay Kumar. His assignment will be for a year and depending upon his performance, his contract could be extended, sources in the TFA said.

“I am grateful to the TFA for making me what I am today. Before joining the academy, I did not know much about the game. But after coming here in 1991, I learnt a lot. TFA has shaped my career and helped me take football as a career,” said the Bangalore-based Chapman.

Chapman, who led India at the SAF Games in Bangkok in 1997, was planning to settle in Dubai — where his cousin sister stay, but the new assignment has forced him to put his migration plans on the backburner. How does it feel being back at the TFA? “Well, I am very happy to be here. I remember my days in the TFA whenever I see the boys sweating it out. I have a great responsibility and will try to do my best,’’ he said.

to do a good

job,” said Chapman, who was a TFA cadet from 1991-93.

”It is basically a new job for me. I think I can pick the threads with

time,” the former midfielder added. He said PK Bannerji and Mohd. Habib

Ä director and coach, respectively during his stint at the TFA Ä

helped him a lot while he was still in a learning mode. “I would never

forget their contribution,” he said emotionally.

”I think he would learn the tricks of coaching quite quickly. TFA has

made him a player. Now it is our job to make him a coach so that he can

train the youngsters efficiently,” said Ranjan Choudhary, the TFA coach.

Notably, it was Choudhary who spotted the young Chapman in Bangalore and

he also played an important role in bringing him to the TFA as a cadet.

Chapman, who hanged up his boots in 2000, said he is now seriously

planning to pursue a career in coaching. “Plans of settling in Dubai has

been shelved. Now I have to pursue a career in coaching,” he added.

For record sake, Chapman, a bachelor, had been a regular in the Indian

team for nine years, playing national and international tournaments. He

bid adieu to the game after helping East Bengal win the National League

title in 2000. “I have enjoyed my playing days. Now I have to

concentrate on coaching,” Chapman, who also played for JCT Mills,

Phagwara and FC Kochin, signed off.