New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Indian senior football team coach Stephen Constantine will help the England Under-17 team to the best of his ability when they come to India to take part in the World Cup starting October 6.
“The Under-17 World Cup is in India and the FA have reached out (to me) and I will help them as much as I can. That in itself is recognition from them,” the British coach who helped India reach the 96th spot in FIFA rankings was quoted as saying by the Independent.
Constantine, in his just released autobiography, “From Delhi to the Den”, has lamented not getting recognition from his own country, England, in terms of offers to coach various clubs.
“I’m not saying give me the England job, but if you’ve got the knowledge of people out there, use them. If you’re English, you want to help England,” Constantine said on helping England colts for the U-17 World Cup.
England have done well in age-group tournaments, winning the U-20 World Cup and U-19 European Championships.
“I’ve not had the opportunity to be at a big club for people to say: ‘Yeah, he can handle it’,” the 54-year-old said.
“What’s to handle? Do you think there’s less pressure on me in a country (India) of 1.3 billion people than if I managed a Championship club or a Premier League club. No, I’m sorry, that’s not pressure,” he added.
Constantine, a Uefa Pro Licence holder, studied alongside Steve McLaren and Mark Hughes. The London born coach is also a FIFA instructor and has coached the Nepal, Malawi, Sudan and Rwanda national teams and several sides in his father’s native Cyprus.
In England, Constantine found it tough to get going. Aside from his forgettable football coach stint, Constantine’s main English football experience has been confined to a spell as Millwall’s first-team coach in 2005/6.
“In the early part of my career, I was begging English clubs to give me the time of day,” Constantine confessed.
“I must have applied to half the full-time teams in England. But I am not hung up if I never come to England. I don’t have to come to England. I wanted to come to England,” he added.
Summing up his contribution to Indian football in his second stint, Constantine said: “I think one of my strongest points is I get the best out of players. If you look at my most recent role, when I came to India they were 174 in the FIFA world rankings in 2015. We are now 96. We don’t have a stable league.”