Panjim: Sesa Goa Limited, one of India's biggest iron ore mining companies, which runs the Sesa Football Academy (SFA) in Goa, has hired former Irish left-back Terry Phelan as chief mentor to groom its young footballers.
Phelan, a former Chelsea and Manchester City player, was introduced at a media interaction in Panaji Wednesday evening. The former English Premier League player made an instant impression.
"Constant monitoring of players and managing nutrition are an important part of the science. I have already begun evaluating training sessions based on technical, tactical, physical and social aspects," said Phelan, who has already begun his workout with the SFA protegees before his appointment was formally announced.
Close cropped hair, washboard hard midriff, Phelan looks like he has just walked off Chelsea's Stamford Bridge pitch, where he spent a few years as a professional footballer in the 1990s.
His precision and fitness stems from strict adherence to the concept of "sports science", which he wants the SFA to imbibe whole hog.
"Today sports science is the key to success and that's what I plan to bring to the academy. Sports Science involves a long-term plan which analysis a number of elements, including speed and strength," Phelan said.
Once called 'Scuttler' -- a credible nickname for a defender whose task it is to scuttle, forays from the opposing team - Phelan's signing is being seen as a shot in the arm not just for SFA, but Goan football in general.
"Involvement of stars such as Terry Phelan will surely aid in elevating the sport of football to the next level. Goa's talented youngsters will reap the benefits of what the Sesa Football Academy has initiated," vice president of the Goa Football Association (GFA) Elvis Gomes said.
According to Sesa Goa Ltd managing director P.K. Mukherjee, Phelan will mentor SFA's senior as well as junior academies, along with footballing coaches.
"SFA has consciously decided to focus its energies and resources on increasing the standards of Goan and Indian football. We believe Terry will be a huge support in fulfilling this objective," Mukherjee said.
The SFA has two academies at the junior level which began functioning from June 1999 at Sanquelim, Goa, and senior level which started from June 2008 at an exhausted mining pit in Sirsaim, 20 km from here.
Sesa Goa Limited is a Vedanta Resources-owned company.