Mumbai: The daily routine of the national football team’s members, who assembled here Monday for a preparatory camp after a break, included regular sessions to improve their fitness so that the focus could straightaway shift to technical aspects now.
The players have assembled for the preparatory camp ahead of the four-nation Inter-continental Cup to be played in Ahmedabad, starting July 7. India play Tajikistan on the opening day, with DPR Korea and Syria being the other two teams.
“Coach (Igor) Stimac and his support staff have drawn up a schedule for every individual player. It was a kind of an off-season, but we had to deal with it as a kind of pre-season for the camp,” defender Pritam Kotal was quoted as saying in a media release issued by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
“I never compromised on my fitness schedule (during the break). In fact, I did more. The awareness levels were higher,” the further stated.
Central defender Sandesh Jhingan reckoned that now the players will come back fitter and the coach can focus on technical aspects.
“The schedule came from the Professor (Luka Radman) was very categorical. He highlighted what a player needed to do when he is away from his club, and the national team set-up,” Jhingan pointed out.
‘This will help. Players will be fit when they come back to the camp and the coach can straightaway work on technical aspects, on the system, on how we want to play,” added Jhingan. He also informed that the coach had provided match analysis videos to the players.
“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,” Jinghan further said.
Experienced custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said he has been ‘working day in day out to stay fitter’. “The camp will be different from those of the past. All are fresh and ready to carry on the momentum of learning the new system, and implement it on the pitch,” said Sandhu.