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Level 3 Coach - Baljinder Singh
- Name: Baljinder Singh
- Age: 34
- Football Qualifications: UEFA B license Level 3, FDS Futebol De Salao coach, JFO Tutor (Junior football Organizer).
- Occupation: Football Coach /Development officer
Before becoming a coach Bal had a glittering football career involving wins at national five-a-side championships and numerous titles at amateur level. One of Bal’s biggest achievements was winning four amateur league titles in one season in Hertfordshire. Another career highlight for Bal was the opportunity to prove he had the ability to play at a higher level during a fixture Khalsa had against Valencia CF in Spain. During his time on the field Bal showcased his vast range of passing skills and technical abilities. He completed his performance by scoring a superb individual goal, taking on two Spanish defenders including Real Madrid and Spanish international legend Miguel Tendilio, before rounding the keeper to slot the ball into the empty net. It was his obvious passion for the game that led him to pursue a coaching career.
Bal is only one of very few Level 3 coaches from an Asian background. He has overcome numerous barriers to get his accreditations and wishes to encourage more Asian coaches to obtain accredited qualifications to become part of mainstream football. Bal has achieved a holistic coaching outlook through his FDS coaching and worldview on football so as to engage and empower the next generation of Asian players.
He is currently Football Development Officer of the Khalsa Youth Football Academy project and player coach of the Sporting KFA; a Letchworth based senior side that is a feeder club for Hitchin Town FC. Bal completed his education at the AC Milan Youth Academy in Italy and Valencia CF training complex in Spain. He is also an individual personal coach and by using the Futebol De Salao (FDS) methods helps players further develop their technical ability. Two of his biggest inspirations are Franco Baresi and Alberigo Evani who have helped him develop as a coach since meeting them in 2004. As a FDS coach he has been coached by Simon Clifford, Careca and Carlos Alberto. This experience has made him a more dynamic coach and it was his interested in coaching football that led to him creating the Khalsa Youth Football Academy.
Khalsa Youth Football Academy
Bal set up the Khalsa Youth Football Club back in 1988, primarily to increase the participation of ethnic minority players in grassroots football. In 2004 Bal launched the Khalsa Youth Football Academy, This was a project, which gave youngsters a platform to showcase their skills in front of coaches from semi- professional and professional clubs. To help set up the Academy Bal visited AC Milan Youth Academy meeting up with Italian legend Franco Baresi and getting a very good education from former AC Milan and Italian international Alberigo Evani. Bal also co-ordinated the official launch of the Academy project in 2005 with community coaches from Liverpool Football club, European champions at the time.
One of Bal’s biggest successes has been creating a wide network of partners for his academy, not only in the UK but also across Europe complemented by numerous groundbreaking initiatives such as his One team, One game Striving, for Unity project, which saw him take a group of Asian players to Valencia CF in 2006.
His single-handed dedication and determination has created the Khalsa Youth Academy. Recently he has obtained a football foundation grant to assist in further developing his project.
Bal’s View on Coaching
I like the teams I manage to play several formations, preferring my back four to play up field, constantly looking for the offside trap, with the midfield four hunting in packs when they have lost possession, retaining their shape when they have the ball by playing quick, short passes. With the extra dynamics provided by FDS coaching the players have become more creative and resourceful, benefiting the team by playing entertaining and efficient football.
Unfortunately Bal is one of a very small group of Asian coaches, football development officers that have created new and dynamic pathways for the next generation of players. It is therefore essential that we support proactive individuals such as Bal for the future development of the game. He says he will continue to engage with and support all players and aspiring coaches wishing to follow his lead into a sustainable, progressive and partnership led football development from grassroots to elite football.
For more information on Bal and his projects visit the Khalsafa website.