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If the recent Bollywood hit "Chak De" showcased how a coach can make a difference to the fortunes of a feeble hockey team, Anita Sarkar of Kolkata is making a similar attempt for the men's football team in West Bengal.
If the recent Bollywood hit "Chak De" showcased how a coach can make a difference to the fortunes of a feeble hockey team, Anita Sarkar of Kolkata is making a similar attempt for the men's football team in West Bengal.

Anita holds the distinction of being the only woman coach of a men's football team registered with the Indian Football Association (IFA). She claims football being her first and last love.

She is grateful to the game that earned her fame and a career to earn a livelihood with respect.

Anita, who is in her 40s, is presently training 40-50 boys from various districts of West Bengal. He dream is to produce world class footballers from the State. For this, she has recently started her own camp at a Maidan tent in Kolkata apart from coaching Mirzapur Union Club footballers.

The USP of Anita's training is that she can very well perform what she expects from the youngsters aiming to represent the national team. She finds is easy to discover what's going wrong on the field and how to overcome it.

The best part of training is that "Our madam (Anita) actually plays with us", said Sujay Das, one of the students.

"She doesn't believe in dictating commands from the sidelines as she says that modern football is all about fitness, power and speed. Our coach is totally focused. She always insists for perfection," said footballer Tanveer Hassan Khan .

Anita started her career as a footballer in the year 1975.

Apart from playing for club level football and representing Bengal at various tournaments she also played for Indian Women Team for long span. But she took to coaching in 1997.

Having taken training of coaching and earned the degree from Football Association (FA) in England in the best available training program for football coaches, Anita believes that proper training is a must for success in any field.

She has also done an International Preliminary Coaching Award Course conducted by the FA, in 1998 and earned an 'A' certificate.

On being asked the most disliked question that how does it feel to coach men footballers being a woman herself, she says: "It's all about teaching them the techniques and tactics which does not vary with the gender of a footballer."

Anita, who is a spinster and an employee of Customs, says that she has reached this position in football due to the firm support of her family and colleagues.

Anita says: "Football gave me everything that I desired--a good job, a satisfactory career and a little fame."

It was one of her unforgettable moment of the career when was she was chosen to represent India to a training session at German Football Association. Among the 25 trainees at the camp, the only other woman was from Ghana.

She is happy doing what she loves the most. But she has a dream which is to one day coach the national women football team. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

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