Subam Rabha

Subam Rabha of Assam has become the first football coach from the state to obtain an AFC A license, the second highest level of coaching accreditation issued by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Subam who hails from Guwahati has been associated with the NorthEast United FC as their reserve team’s coach and also as a grassroots coordinator for several years.

Earlier in 2020, he became the youngest coach in Assam to get an AFC B license.

The News Mill caught up with the 29-year-old coach after the results were announced.

Here are parts of the excerpts:

The News Mill: Many congratulations, Subam.

Subam Rabha: Thanks a lot.

The News Mill: So, how happy are you at this moment to achieve the feat? None from Assam so far has done it.

Subam: I’m really happy and excited. I have always been dreaming this. I have always wanted to be a good coach and achieve these milestones.

I think, my hard work has paid off.

The News Mill: Now, how will this license help you as a coach?

Subam: The course is designed to educate coaches in tactical and technical requirements, leadership qualities, management, player identification, and teaching the physiological and psychological needs of the player.

To say in simple words, now I’m eligible to be a head coach of any I-League side and an assistant coach of an ISL club.

The News Mill: If you look back on this journey, who are the great supports?

Subam: I must say that my club – NorthEast United FC has been a great help. They provided me with the facilities and I have gained experience coaching the side in different tournaments like Durand Cup and Bordoloi Trophy. Participating in these tournaments as a coach of the team has helped me a lot.

I could fine-tune my crafts as a coach. The club also allowed me to attend the training sessions of the senior side. So, this too helped to a great extent.

Apart from that, if I have to take the name of one individual, it has to be our former head coach Khalid Jamil sir. He would always pick up my call whenever I needed to ask something or the other. He has been a great support in my journey.

Suba Rabha with Khalid Jamil
Suba Rabha with former head coach of NorthEast United FC Khalid Jamil (left)

The News Mill: Tell us more about the course and your batch mates.  

Subam: The course was conducted by the All India Football Federation, which was held in Mumbai. It started in October last year.

There were 24 participants from across India, which included some prominent players like Jose Barretto, Paresh Shivalkar, Vijith Shetty, Ranjan Bhattacherjee and Remus Gomes. Among these, 15 have cleared the course.

The News Mill: How did you start your career?

Subam: To say in short, my journey as a coach started in 2013 when I joined South Point School in Guwahati and after that, since 2015 I have been associated with NEUFC as a grassroots coach.

As a player, I played in Subrata Cup in 2010. Later in 2012, I sustained a serious knee injury during a match in the Pilik Chowdhury inter-district tournament. That was the end of my playing career.

The News Mill: So, what’s the next target?

Subam: My next aim is to obtain the AFC Pro License, the highest level of coaching accreditation issued by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). If I can do that, I will be eligible to be a head coach of an ISL club.

I can apply for it after two years. Though it’s tough, I’m hopeful of getting it done.

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The News Mill is a Guwahati-based digital media with focus on content from across Northeast India and beyond. We can be reached through [email protected]