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Dias: Goa's most successful youth development coach
Levino Dias is one of the Goa's most successful youth development coach till date. Sadly, others who had taken over from him have not been able to come to a sniffing close to the record and have seldom won the title for Goa in the sub-juniors.

HUMBLE, AGGRESSIVE and attentive to detail is one of the virtues that one would associate with the Goa’s most successful youth development coach till date, Levino Dias. Three winners’ titles, an equal number of runners-up and another two third place finishes in the sub junior championship speaks volume of the man who made Goa a force to reckon with on the football field in the sub-juniors.

Sadly, with the transition of time, others who had taken over from him have not been able to come to a sniffing close to the record and have seldom won the title for Goa in the sub-juniors. The blame game of lack of success revolves from cheating and fielding of overage players to sub standard facilities provided for Goan players taking part in tournament in other states

The diminutive south Goa based coach, hailing from Cuncolim village, started his journey into football as angry young man in the mid field and with a tradition of having elder brothers addicted and infected with soccer bug it was, but natural that the young one would follow in their foot steps.

The football journey first flowered not in the rice fields of Cuncolim, but far way in Karnataka, Belgaum district were he was studying. There was no looking back. Holidays were the occasion he longed for to display his wares before his friends relatives and admirers in Goa. The admirers who have grown with every passing game in his village.

The young talent passed into the hands of Late Father Chico or Pri Chicho, as he was fondly called by his students and it was Academica that the stellar influence of Pri Chico molded Levino further as a footballer.

The experience was worth it for Levino, as he also carried a lot of positive things from Father Chicho, which he still fondly recollects as if it was yesterday that the worlds of Fr Chico rang in his ears. He tries to pass on the game finer points to young kids and grown ups.

From Academica to Panvel Sports Club, where he was one of the senior who took the legendary goalkeeper Brahmanand Shanwalkar, who went to captain the Indian squad, under his wings.

Levino during his playing days formed a terrific pair along with Joao D’Mello and the two were formidable partnership.

The other medio who was admired was the flamboyant and dashing, stylish midfielder Henry Britto. Admired also for his looks and his stylish play, Levino recalls.

Bruno Coutinho, Orlando Viegas, Hercules Gomes, Freddy Baretto, Jitendra Bhise, Flavaino Leitao all have grown from sub-junior footballers to big time players on the Goa and national scene.

His last national coaching assignment was with the Goa’s junior team, which toured Manipur in 2000 and there after he has been away from the coaching the state teams, and he has been kept busy with coaching small kids in his village Cuncolim. Two of his boys – Keenan Almeida and Ryan Colaco who are part of the 13 selected by the Manchester United Schools to be part of the eight-day trip to United Kingdom this month

His first coaching stint started with Panvel Sports Club and the journey has taken him to Sao Jose De Areal SC, Ambelim Sports Club and Salcete Footbal Club. At Ameblim, a village club in south Goa, he guided the team to a maximum number of title in the Goa inter-village and inter-club tournaments.

He was also associated with the famous women teams in Goa AVC Eves (Assolna, Velim and Cuncolim), which produced many footballers and also opened many job opportunities for the footballers who are well placed in different field of life.

With Goan women football unable to reach the height and excitement of the 80’s, his views were sought over the issue. He for one would not like to be drawn into the muddle of lack of success, but gave his views on women football.

"Women footballers are like young children of 10-12 years. You have to handle them tenderly and a host of issues are involved. You have to teach them basics and minute attention to detail has to be noticed. Ladies support staff is a must," he said.

"I do not wish to comment on the lack of success of our age group that would not be fair on my part, " he said on the lack of success of Goan sub-junior team in recent years.

All India Football Federation, secretary, Alberto Colaco rates him as one of the two best youth development coach at hand. The other is M M Mutawalli.

But then questions are being raised as why to the coach who had a phenomenal success, his services have not been utilised is a question, which will be best answered by the powers at the helm of affairs.

Levino Dias would not say it with words, but the glare in his eyes says it all and the silence over the issue even when pressed for answers over the issue. Sad, a person rich experience is not being used for football in the state.

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