Friday, August 24, 2012

Terrence “Terry” Phelan – One of the hardest working people in Indian football

Many people around the world know the name Terry Phelan, but very few know how important he is to the future of Indian football.  Terry has an illustrious playing career which includes stints with Leeds United, Swansea City, Wimbledon, Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace, Fullham, Sheffield United, Charleston Battery and Otago United.  In addition, he won an FA Cup with Wimbledon, played 40 matches for the Irish National team and started every match for his country in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Needless to say, this man knows his football. 

For the past 17 months he has been living in Goa serving as the Technical Director for Sesa Football Academy – a 65 player residential academy for top Goan players ages 16 – 23.  His responsibilities include building the overall technical plan for the Academy, coaching the coaches and introducing modern day football technology into the training and evaluation of the players.  
Since Sesa Football Academy is a client of Libero Sports India, I’ve been fortunate to have been able to make at least a dozen trips to Goa in the past year for meetings and presentations. During that time, I’ve gotten to know Terry and his family quite well and it is easy to say that he truly is one of the hardest working men in Indian football. 

The reason I say this is that this man’s mind never stops thinking about football. And now that he is in India, he is all about the development of the game in this country.  He is someone who has lived here for almost 2 years eating, breathing and dreaming about how he can contribute to the sport over here.  Not many people from abroad and with this level of professional playing experience stick around in the country long enough to truly contribute to the game. Terry is different, he is committed to having an impact and whether it’s with Sesa Football Academy or any other India based organization, he is ready to work 24 hours a day to take the game to new heights.

I feel blessed that I get the opportunity to work with Terry. Not only am I a big Everton supporter and remember watching Terry’s Irish team stun Italy in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, but I’m also a believer that experienced, hard-working, committed foreigners can help India turn the sport around in this country. Terry represents just that. 
I just wish there were more Terry Phelans living in India...

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