New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Igor Stimac, newly appointed coach of the Indian national football team, made his mark during the very first practice session at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, here on Tuesday, by creating a positive spirit and setting high goals and standards for the players to achieve.
And players reflected that by hailing the Croatian. “The coach wants the boys to play as a cohesive unit,” said defender Rahul Bheke speaking on the sidelines of the practice session.
Bheke, who got his national team call-up said, “If we (Blue Tigers) have to be one of the best teams in Asia, we will have to think big and follow our dreams,” and the new coach would be showing us the way forward.
“He is very positive about the growth of Indian Football and wants to take us further into being one of the best teams in Asia,” the defender said.
The squad had assembled to prepare for the forthcoming Kings’ Cup in Buriram, Thailand, starting on June 5. The Blue Tigers will take on Curacao in their first match.
The former Croatia national team manager wasted little time in formalities and got into action by putting the squad to some fitness tests and coaxing the players to prepare for an inspiring performances at the AFC Asian Cup, this year.
Brandon Fernandes who also got a call-up to the camp, first time since 2015, said: “I was training a bit in the off-season. Now I am here and want to give my 100 per cent.”
Lauding the experience of Stimac, who was part of the Croatia team in the 1998 World Cup where they finished third, Brandon said: “He is an experienced coach and can do great things. His plans and goal is to improve us and I feel it was a good choice to appoint him.”
“I will be taking it day by day. My first target is to get into the final list for the King’s Cup. Right now I am focussing on that,” Brandon said.