YANGON: Keeping in mind that in Asia ‘you need to travel long,’ National Coach Wim Koevermans insisted on arriving
early in Yangon for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014. In an interview to www.the-aiff.com, Koevermans talks about the intensity of his training sessions, challenges of acclimatisation, the couple of injuries in the Preparatory Camp, India’s opponents in the AFC Challenge Cup and much more. EXCERPTS:
Are you satisfied the manner the Preparatory Camp in Pune shaped up?
Very much! The boys worked hard and so did the staff. There was a reason for the Camp and we accomplished it. I need to thank the authorities in Pune for their cooperation and also the All India Football Federation for arranging for the Preparatory Camp. Things are working in the right direction and that’s important.
What do you make of the players prior and after the Camp?
The players will always have to get used to the tempos of the training sessions. The sessions were of very high intensity and everyone adjusted well.
At the moment we are focusing on Chinese Taipei, our first opponent in the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 (Qualifiers). It’s the first game of the Tournament and a really important one for us. We are providing them the information and they are learning about them.
How much have the couple of injuries (to Arnab Mondal and Sandesh Jhingan) in the Preparatory Camp affected your plans?
Unfortunately injuries are always a part of any training camp, anywhere in the World. They were freak ones but we need to move on. That’s the reason we had called for a bigger group of players. Even after Sandesh (Jhingan) was ruled out, we called for an extra defender (Rowilson Rodrigues) to ensure we had enough quality players for the Tournament.
India are the first team to have landed in Yangon. How much is acclimatisation important in such a Tournament?
I’d say, most important! The idea stays to get enough rest to overcome and adjust after the hectic travel schedules. Travelling is tiring and takes its toll, especially if you travel to a different time zone; and one needs to remember that in Asia, you need to travel long. Hence, acclimatisation is important. We need to get it out of system. The boys have adjusted superbly so far and we even had a light practice session on the first afternoon.
However, having said that, the boys from Churchill Brothers and East Bengal couldn’t arrive together with the Group, courtesy the AFC Cup schedule. They need to recover fast and stay fresh.
You have had a look at the Videos – what do you make of your opponents?
We take every opposition seriously. In a build-up to a match, we need to analyse our rival teams and stay 100 percent prepared. We need to see the players, their qualities, their strengths and weaknesses and prepare accordingly.
By Nilanjan Datta,
AIFF Media Team