Floyd Pinto, who has built himself quite a reputation in youth coaching, is keen to step into coaching senior teams.
The former Indian Arrows and India U19 coach wants to shatter the stereotype of a youth coach and is set to join Punjab FC as an assistant coach.
"When you are with the AIFF (All India Football Federation), with the Indian Arrows or even with the U-19 team, you will always be known as a youth coach. So I wanted to get out of that mould of a youth team coach and move into a senior team setup," he opined to Goal.
"I'm looking to challenge myself both on and off the field. My main aim was to do the (AFC) Pro License. An aspect of doing the Pro License when it happened last time is that you need to be with a professional club playing in the professional league. So what I thought is, if I'm doing my Pro License course, then why not attach myself with a professional team," said the 33-year-old.
Goal understands that Floyd has agreed terms with I-League outfut Punjab FC. The engineer turned coach believes that he has a lot to offer from his experience.
"The experience that I had in the I-League for two years gave me the confidence that I can step up. There are a lot of things to learn once I make that step up and there are also a lot of things I can contribute having worked with some of the best talents in the country who are now playing in the top leagues. So I feel that this is the right time to make that step up.
"With Covid-19 (Coronavirus pandemic), now everything has slowed down, but in a way it has also given me more time to reflect on my time with the AIFF and prepare myself for what's coming next. My contract with AIFF ended in March and ever since I have been talking to a few coaches to have a feel of what's going on," he said.
Ever since Floyd assumed the position of head coach at the AIFF Elite Academy, he has won the U-18 I-League twice in a row – 2015-16 and 2016-17 – besides lifting the Subroto Cup as the head coach of the AIFF U-17 team in 2015 where the trophy was handed over by legendary Brazilian footballer Pele at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.
He also did a meritorious job with the Indian Arrows since taking over from Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos following the bottom-placed finish in the 2017-18 I-League season. With more or less the same squad which had the likes of Deepak Tangri, Boris Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Rahul KP, Rahim Ali etc, he fared much better in the following season with an eighth placed finish. His Arrows team also defeated Kerala Blasters in the qualification round of the 2019 Super Cup before being ousted by FC Goa.
"I want to be working as a head coach or an assistant," Pinto reiterated that he is not willing to settle for a role lesser than the first team.
His last assignment was at the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers where they couldn't make it out of the group stage albeit after leading his boys to the 2019 SAFF U-18 Championship title.
"I'll obviously want to contribute to what the club is currently doing or willing to do as far as the youth [development] is concerned - getting a good structure in place, making sure that training standards are up to the mark, getting in players from the youth to the first team.
"I'm not someone who will stick to one role and just do my job. I will be interested as to what is going on around me at that particular club, and I'll always want to give my two bits of information to help the club grow and evolve," he concluded.