Kiran Shrestha coached Boudha FC for two seasons before Boudha FC got relegated. And he is now coaching as a volunteer at Sahara academy in Pokhara, his home town.
Coach Kiran Shrestha is also coaching at Gandaki Boarding School. He featured as a player with the Jawalakhel Youth Club as well as various other clubs.
While covering Safal Pokhara Cup 2013 we met former we met him out of luck. It turns out, that he is the owner of the hotel we are staying at.
Since he gave us some time, we got into finding out more about him and his views on Nepali football.
First, we asked him how he entered the world of football.
This is what he had to say, “I am from a footballing family. My father (Hirakaji Shrestha, played for regional team Gandaki) was a footballer. So it was easy for me just to try to walk in his footsteps. For that reason I always had a great support from my family, unlike some who don’t.”
He said he was fortunate to get a proper training from a renowned Nepali coaches, from an early age.
Then, we asked him on his views on Nepali football.
Coach Shrestha says that Nepali football suffers from management weakness in almost all the clubs. He added “our footballers are very good up until the age of sixteen then development stops from there on. For those who do make it to the National teams, that is the pinnacle of their career. There is not much to look beyond and players loose the motivation to do well from that stage.”
He made a reference to his time at Boudha FC as well and said “while at Boudha FC we were struggling financially and the management couldn’t do any thing about it. As a coach I tried to get my players to play as good as possible but it is difficult to motivate them when they are not getting paid. There aren’t any personnel with a marketing and commercial background in Nepali clubs and that is a problem.”
We also asked him about the state of football in his home town Pokhara.
He said ” The football association hasn’t put a lot of competition in Pokhara and that is affecting the football development in Kaski district as a whole. On top of that seven a side football is taking over from the full eleven a side games. That is making things worse.”
As we understand, the seven a side football and or futsal is some thing much talked about in the west. Some of the south american football, specially that of Brazil, is attributed to futsal and other forms of football played in small numbers on a smaller pitch.
So we were eager to know why seven a side football is affecting and also the reason behind the rise of seven a side football in Pokhara.
Coach Shrestha said “the rules in seven a side football is slightly different. For instance there is no offside rule. So a lot of players tend to lose that sense of position in front of goal. Then there is the fact that it is played in a small ground. The tactical side of football is missing from these games.”
He added “it is good for developing close control skills to play in a tight space with quick reaction. We use it in our training sessions too. But when it is played as a major competition format it makes it difficult for the eleven a side football to grow. As for why it is gaining ground, well for the very same reason. Not having a lot of rules means less dispute and less trouble for the organizers since security is a major concern.”
Finally we asked him of his hotel business.
He said his family were into hotel business for a while. And since leaving Boudha FC he has been taking care of day to day management of his hotels on top of coaching. He added “it is difficult to make a living with just football in Nepal”.