Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: NIS as well as AFC license holder coach Bidhan Das admits that football during the early part of post COVID-19 may not be same like earlier. A lot of restriction would be imposed even during the practice too. In a conversation with The Sentinel he said, starting practice with small groups is the better option. The coach also advocates rescheduling football calendar in the state. Here is the excerpt.
The Sentinel (TS): Early part of post COVID-19 will be crucial for the sportspersons. What suggestions you would like to give to the footballers?
Bidhan: Yes. It would be little difficult for the players to adjust the new condition. But hope all the players will accustom with the new condition quickly. Look, early stage we may not expect matches as players need to maintain social distance. So best possible way to start the training is to make small groups of player and play one touch football among them. It will help to regain the fitness and skills. The practice module should be changed with the passing of time.
TS: Do you feel footballers would suffer most because of lockdown as it is a team game?
Bidhan: No. I belief, football is a very much individual game. How to kick the ball properly, how to receive, how to make accurate pass- all are individual skills and a player must develop those skills alone. The job of the coach is to give them just ideas on how to do these right way. So if a player has spent at least an hour inside his home to sharp his skill with ball during lockdown I don't see he would face any trouble when they will return into the ground for practice as well as for playing matches.
TS: COVID-19 has changed the entire football calendar. Do you feel all the events including Subroto Cup, Inter District School football should be rescheduled?
Bidhan: Yes. Right now it may not be possible because we have to wait for the government clearance. But once we are allowed, all the tournaments should be organized otherwise it would be a very big loss for the players.
TS: Share your experience in coaching.
Bidhan: It's very good. I am a player's friendly coach and if I find talent to someone I shall do everything to bring him in the team. I can still remember how I brought Sunil Chhetri in the national team. When he was selected in the national camp for Asian School championship nearly 20 years back I faced little bit problem as a section was not happy on his selection in the camp. But I ignored all those complain and you see the result. He is now national hero.
TS: What is the specialty of Sunil?
Bidhan: Sunil applies his brain nicely when plays football. Another important thing of Sunil is that he is very dangerous with the ball. If you watch him you will see when he is just moving into the ground there is nothing special in him. But once ball in his leg he is a very dangerous player. Sunil can score from any angle.