Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Senior National football players, on Monday lavished praise on coach Igor Stimac for his fitness regime which improved their fitness so that the focus could straightaway shift to technical aspects now.
“Stimac and his support staff had drawn up a schedule for every individual player,” defender Pritam Kotal informed. “It was a kind of an off-season, but we had to deal it as a kind of pre-season for the camp.”
Was it a bit tough, especially with not being able to devote much time for the family, he was asked and he shot back “Not at all, I enjoyed the break, spent quality time with my family, stayed with them. But I never compromised on my fitness schedule. In fact, I did more. The awareness levels were higher.”
The Indian will be camping in Mumbai before proceeding to Ahmedabad for the Hero Intercontinental Cup which kicks-off on July 7 at the EKA Arena. India play Tajikistan on the opening day, with DPR Korea, and Syria being the other two teams.
Central defender Sandesh Jhingan maintained the “bonus” stayed the fact that “the schedule came from the ‘Professor’ (Luka Radman)”. “Professor was very categorical. He highlighted what a player needed to do when he is away from his Club, and National team set-up,” he said . “Now everyone will come back fitter. The Coach can work on technical aspects, and on the system, on how we want to play.”
, “If you are on the path of trying to be the best version of yourself, and if you are in the path of fulfilling your full potential, or going beyond, you can’t take the liberty of taking too much rests,” he opined .
“Apart from the physical and technical training schedule, we were also provided match analysis videos by the coach. Emphasis was paid on the quintessential mental part. If you are mentally strong, and understand football, it’s your biggest strength as a player.
“We had a decent campaign in the King’s Cup. We were able to play a certain extent of the football we wanted to play,” he added. “It’s all about how we adapt to the system. We need to play with more confidence, and courage. We are in a building process for the World Cup Qualifiers in our quest to become a complete team. There’s no room for compromise.”