Nawal Gurung is the head coach for Himalayan Sherpa Club and the physiotherapist for the national team. He is 29 years old and is a fan of Liverpool FC.
When did you decide to be a football coach?
Almost a year back, I had coached a few teams before but I was quite busy with my life. But I decided to do what I was passionate about and here I am.
Tell us about your footballing experiences in England?
When I was a kid, I was invited to the Tottenham Hotspur trials by their scouts. I was 9 years old at that time however my career was limited as I was released at the age of sixteen due to injuries. I had a hernia operation that destroyed me mentally and physically, but I'm also grateful because I decided to study sports medicine and that I'm still associated with this beautiful game.
So what brings you to Nepal?
Currently I'm doing FA Coaching course which requires me to manage a professional team for 9 months. So, that's how I became the head coach of Himalayan Sherpa Club. I'm also the physiotherapist for the national team under Krishna Thapa and Hari Khadka and I'm learning a lot from them.
Name one club that you would love to manage some day.
The Nepali national team for sure. When I was younger, I was called up to play for the national team but I was a british citizen so I wasn't eligible to play. However I want to do my part for the country, even if it means being a manager than a player.
Are you satisfied with the Nepalese football scene ?
I do believe that we've come a long way but at the same time we're stuck. We've invested a lot of money and I think helps but if you rely on money a lot then you become stupid. How many clubs here have their own stadium? None. We should be getting more qualified coaches and officials and build football academies and stadiums. To have a good team you need to invest time and effort, something that money can't buy.
Since you're currently preparing the U-22 team for the upcoming AFC Cup, what do have to say about our young footballers?
Honestly, Nepal has abundant talent in abundance. I see so much potential in the young generation but we don't have proper academies and football schools. This is one of the biggest problems currently. We can identify talent but then you must know what to do with it. Identifying talent is half the process. We need a lot more professionals to nurture this talent and give them a platform to showcase their abilites.
Your thoughts on Graham Roberts?
I think he's done a great job. I heard he was a great man. I wish I had gotten a chance to work with him, but it never happened but I wanna thank him for getting Nepal where it is today.
Who was your idol while growing up?
I was a huge fan of the Liverpool boys, Steve Mcmanaman, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen. I also idolized Zinedine Zidane . But my real idol was the Brazilian superstars, Ronaldo and Rivaldo in particular. I had Ronaldo's boots, his jerseys and I had o=poster of him on my wall alongside Britney Spears. And Rivaldo is the reason I wear Mizuno's to this day.
A word to our readers?
Believe in yourself and follow where there is meaning annd not money, I advise them to continue because they are on the right track.
NAWAL'S DREAM TEAM
Two time World Cup winner. The all-time highest scorer in the World Cup. 3 World Player of the Year trophies and 2 Copa America titles. I can continue praising about his achievements all day, that's how good Ronaldo is. 'There is only one Ronaldo, the rest are Cristianos'
- Paolo Maldini
Spent his entire club career in the red and black No.3 shirt for AC Milan, 25 years in the first team. In that time, he won seven Serie A championships, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana, five Champions League's, five European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA World Club Cup. The club retired the No.3 jersey in his honor.
– Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool captain is probably one of the best center midfielders in the world. Loyal to his club Liverpool, he has vowed to never leave the club. Known for superb free-kicks and long range screamers, Stevie G has made his mark among football's elites.
- Zinedine Zidane
Come on! You were expecting this weren't you? Zidane is a master of football.
He defines elegance, technique and swiftness on the ball. He was a part of Real Madrid's Galacticos and helped them to achieve many feats. If there is anyone who was as technically gifted as Zidane, it is Zidane himself.
- Daniel Alves
If not for the man named Maicon, Dani Alves would be the 1st choice right back for Brazil, just like he is at Barcelona. Speed, strength, free-kick ability. What more could you ask for from the world's most versatile fullback? Can play down the left flank too.
Have you ever heard of 'Bend it like Messi?' or 'Bend it like Ronaldo?' No! Because there is only one man who can put that crazy spin on the ball and that man is David Beckham. Played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan and was famous for his free-kicks.
- Nemanja Vidic
This Serbian powerhouse has been nicknamed 'The Serbinator' by his fans. Probably the best defender in the premier league alongside Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany. He formed a deadly partnership with Rio Ferdinand which made it difficult for the opposition's strikers a difficult time to find the back of the net.
- Peter Schmeicel
With his amazing reflexes and never say die attitude, Schmeicel helped Manchester United become the powerhouse it is today. He is regarded as one of the best players to put on a United jersey.
- Lilian Thuram
To describe Lilian Thuram, one would use the words; tactically intelligent, a superb tackler and a real leader. Won multiple honors with Juventus and France, including Euro 2000, excelling both at right back and in his favoured center back role and also played for Barcelona.
Brazilian Rivaldo was a beast in his prime. His through balls would tear defences and his bursting runs along the flanks terrified any team he faced. His left foot was a sledgehammer yet it could provide the most tender crosses you have ever seen.
(He is the reason why Nawal wears Mizunos.)
- Bharat Khawas
Bharat Khawas is the most athletic striker in the national team. He is hard working, focused and a team player. He is a very nice person and it is very important because being a good footballer means nothing if you're not a good human being.