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Kochin keen on TFA boys

January 13, 1998 

Indian Express 
MARGAO, January 13: FC Kochin general secretary and team manager Babu Mather warns, ``The real FC Kochin will be seen only after 2000 AD.'' If the grapewine is anything to go by, Mather's statement is quite significant.
It has been reliably learnt that Tata Football Academy (TFA) stars -- Sanjeeb Shaikh, Mahesh Gawali, Noel Wilson and Roque Baretto -- are high on the recruitment list of India's first ever professional soccer club.
If that doesn't cause Kochin's NFL rivals the jitterbugs, Mather's revelation that the Kerala club wishes to rope in as many leading youngsters as possible, especially from the West and South, could well send the other sides on frantic shopping trips.
If Kochin go for TFA material wholesale, a lot could well be initiated by technical director Scotsman George Blues' admiration for the youngsters.Blues said, ``Your TFA lads are skillful and must be retained as a unit as long as possible. They must form the nucleus of your future national sides.''Once out of the Academy, TFA players make or break their careers, depending on how lucky they are. Many have known to lose their way before fading out. Kochin's plans may be godsend in this respect.
According to Mather, FC Kochin are intent on harnessing such talent, even if it entails furthering their academic careers.


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