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July 2004

The UEFA Professional Diploma is officially in the bag or should I say proudly displayed on the wall, it took a year of hard work and many hours of doing assignments, modules, and course work. It has been well worth it though and I have learned a great deal, aside from the staff at the FA, I would also like to thank my fellow candidates for their help and support it was great learning experience for me and I feel very proud to have this qualification.

The question that was on many of the candidates minds was will this top qualification mean more opportunities or better jobs? I think it is safe to say that even though UEFA have indicated that the English UEFA Diploma is one of the better and harder qualifications to get it won’t mean as much in England as it will in the rest of the world! Amazing when you think about it but sadly true, it is about time that the decision makers in England give the Pro Licence the respect it deserves. It is in essence equivalent to a PhD in football and is the highest coaching qualification there is world wide.

After yet another failed attempt at International level in Euro 2004 perhaps it is time we changed our attitudes and started to appoint people who are qualified to lead our teams at club level this may in turn produce better players at all levels - something to think about?

Euro 2004 is over and what a fantastic achievement for Otto Rehhagel and his Greek team and being half Greek I am absolutely delighted for Greece and all its supporters. Hopefully this will improve things in football terms there and raise the profile of Greek football and its teams and players alike.

Closer to home I have just completed a course for FIFA in Iran to be precise in a city called Qom which is a very religious place for Muslims. I went to the holy shrine of Hadhrat Fatimah Ma’Sumah which is the main attraction for many people who visit and it really is a wonderful site. The work that went into the building and the maintenance of it is incredible.

The course went well and as always the people of Iran were very hospitable and I look forward to going back there some time in the future. Staying with FIFA news I have been invited to Germany where we will be instructed on how to deliver the new Futuro courses for FIFA and then I am back in India as we prepare to go to Vietnam for the LG Cup.

I would like to end this months latest news with a big Thank you to the girls in my life, my wife Lucy who in all our time together has always supported my quest for knowledge and the need to improve myself and put up with long periods of being on her own, it is because of her that I am able to do what I do. To my two beautiful daughters who have to put up with long bouts of me not being there which as you can imagine is tough for me and even tougher for them - they have been brilliant.

As usual I have received so many letters and emails from Indians all over the world who have read the latest interview I did on indianfootball.com and I would like to thank them all for their support and their understanding.

Well until next month

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