Sandesh Sigdel, Kathmandu
Nepali goalkeeping coach Manish Timsina has become the first Nepali to obtain the AFC Goalkeeping “A” Diploma License, the highest level of football goalkeeping license globally. He secured the license through a course organized by the Malaysian Football Association.
Talking to HamroKhelkud, Timsina, who has been the goalkeeping coach for the I-League club Gokulam Kerala for three years now, expressed how he sees this accomplishment as the initial step in his professional career. “It feels like the beginning of my career and entering into a professional career”, he said in a conversation with HamroKhelkud. “This is the biggest goalkeeping license in the world – there is no bigger one. I can work anywhere in the world with this license.”
Timsina stressed that this achievement is not solely his but belongs to all Nepalis in an emotional reflection. “This is not only my achievement; it is the achievement of my country. Wherever I go, whatever I achieve, I am a Nepali who achieves everything”, he stated. “Everyone sees a Nepali me. This achievement also shows that Nepalis can achieve great things in football.”
Receiving this license in Malaysia, considered a challenging place for such accreditation, Timsina asserted that it has brought him immense happiness. “It is said that it is very difficult to get this license in Malaysia. I am very happy to receive education in a place where our Nepali brothers go to earn”, he remarked.
With this license, Timsina aspires to contribute to bigger leagues and teams in Asia. “I have worked successfully for three years in India, which is now the biggest football market in Asia,” he shared. “Now, with this license, I aim to work for big clubs in big leagues in Asia and gain more knowledge.”
In addition to his personal success, Timsina highlighted the need for improvement in Nepal’s goalkeeping scenario. Talking about the recently concluded second edition of the Nepal Super League, he pointed out the work required in youth development, particularly in the goalkeeping department. He urged the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) to prioritize bringing in top-licensed goalkeeping coaches for the national team.
“When ANFA brings a pro license coach to Nepal, they should also bring a top license goalkeeping coach for the national team,” he emphasized. “The recently concluded NSL showed us how we need to work on youth and foundations in the goalkeeping department. There were many first-choice foreign goalkeepers who came to different teams and kept Nepalese goalkeepers on the bench.”
In Odisha with Gokulam Kerala for the Kalinga Super Cup, Timsina is currently focused on clinching the title. “We have recently done well against ISL teams in the Durand Cup and other tournaments”, he stated. “We have quality players and quality staff. We are playing top-level competition, and we will fight for the title.”
A 35-year-old coach and former player, Timsina played for teams like Three Star, RCT, Himalayan Sherpa, Bansbari, Swayambhu, and Brigade Boys during his playing career. His coaching kicked off with the role of the goalkeeper coach of ANFA’s Dharan Academy. Timsina’s move to Kerala made him the first Nepali coach to work in the I-League.
Timsina, a gold medalist in the fifth National Games from the East of Nepal, has been actively involved in coaching for more than a decade.