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By Joseph Solomon,

AIFF Media Team


THIMPHU (BHUTAN): It was back in 2013, when current Assistant coach of the Indian U-18 Women’s National Team, Durva Vahia, had first rubbed shoulders in the National Camp for the Senior Women’s National Team with the legendary Bembem Devi.


A few years later, Bembem Devi had retired after winning gold in the South Asian Games and had already set her eyes towards coaching. In the corner, inspired by the legend, was a girl from Mumbai, who also turned her eyes in the same direction.


“Bembem-di is a legend and it was an honour to train and interact with her. Her reputation precedes her and I was very nervous to speak to her. However, her warmth, encouragement and support was humbling”, recalls Durva. “She always encouraged me and helped me, no matter what and that has stayed with me, even today.”


An AFC C license, GK Level 1 coach and Sports Scientist, from Mumbai, Durva Vahia is one of the new generation of coaches in Indian football. Her extensive playing experience with the Senior Women’s National Team, New York Institute of Technology and Exeter City FC in England has further helped in her development as a coach.


“Life as a player and as a coach are very different. Although they are different sides of the same coins, they are worlds apart. My experience playing at a professional level has helped me to understand the requirements and demands of modern football”


“The world of football is developing at an exponential pace and my experiences within the country and outside have helped broaden my understanding and perspective of the football world.” she added.


At 27, Durva is also one of the youngest coach in the Indian football system.


“Coaching has always been exciting and challenging for me. When you are with a team, the ability to understand and connect with each member of the team and staff is crucial. It makes you want to wake up and do better every single day.”


Although the Indian U-18 Women’s National Team lost to Nepal 3-1 on penalties in the semi-final clash of the SAFF U-18 Championship, Durva feels that the potential is huge.


“Women’s football in India has grown at a rapid pace in the last few years and this team has the potential to do well. The players are very talented and it is only a matter of time before results start coming in their favour. The effort they put in every day, on and off the field, makes us proud."




Posted on : Saturday October 06, 2018