Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catching Up With Former Rapids Coach Tim Hankinson has a very good article catching up with former Colorado Rapids Head Coach Tim Hankinson, who is currently coaching in India.

Hankinson, who coached at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, CO after leaving the helm of the Rapids, left the Centennial State to become the first American coach ever to take the reins of a club in Asia.

Hankinson's describing of the off-the-field challenges he faces on a daily basis as the head man at Salgaoacar SC in Vasco Da Gama in Goa, India are almost unbelievable.

Some of his excerpted quotes:

"The challenges outside the field like nutrition, malaria, monsoon season, etc...make the year a challenge beyond the game itself. The infrastructure must get better for soccer to get better. Fields for practice are poor and game fields and stadiums need improvement.

"Monsoon season in June/July/August makes training impossible. There are only two field turf fields in all of India.

Recalling a recent match: "The stadium had more than 500 crowd control police with shields, bats and rifles and we tied the game in the 90th minute. On the bus ride out of the stadium, the fans of East Bengal were lined on every side pounding the bus with rocks and bricks.

"[One the] size of a softball came through the window and everyone [got] on the floor of the bus. Later we heard fans were warming their arms up on us getting ready to show displeasure towards their own team. Two players went to the hospital.

"Basically, if I ever again hear an American coach complain of field conditions, hotels, meals, etc...I will come over there and kick their [butts]!"

Check out YanksAbroad for this good read on Hankinson's pioneering efforts; the entire article is here.

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