Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nehru Cup 2012: Koevermans has task cut out

Hardly a few days in his office, Wilhelmus ‘Wim’ Jacobus Koevermans is on the task of retaining the Nehru Cup. And this time, the defending champion is the lowest ranked amongst the participating teams. 
Cameroon (59), Syria (147), Maldives (161), Nepal (162), India (168)

A tête-à-tête with our newly appointed football coach Wim Koevermans on a day when India’s FIFA ranking hits a new low of 168. 

Ouch, how perilous!


GardenCity Soccer Stars (GCSS): How is it going coach?
Wim Koevermans (WK): It has been going good, weather is excellent, boys are doing their bit, and they are enjoying the training stint here in Bangalore. 
 
GCSS: What was the first thing that stuck in your mind when you took the assignment (of coaching the senior India team)?
WK: It has been hardly any time, however, few areas needed immediate attention, especially, defense. Another important area mid-field, we’re working on it and giving special attention in these areas. Also, giving stress on pressing football.
 
GCSS: There was a last minute change from Noida to Bangalore. Has this shift hampered your preparation?
WK: As you all know the change was due to rain, where we have hardly any control. It is always better to practice smoothly in an away location rather than a close location, which would frequently interrupt our training.
Talking about the climatic change, I don’t think that will matter much. 
 
GCSS: You’ll be playing Nehru Cup in natural turf but the Bangalore Football Stadium turf is artificial, you think that would a major factor?
WK: No, not at all! This is a very good turf and our players have enough experience playing in this kind of turf. Also, not to forget that we’ll have a good five days to practice in natural grass turf after August 16, just before the start of Nehru Cup.
 
GCSS: Just when I talk to you, India has gone down 5 notches, per the latest FIFA ranking India is 168. How do you think about your opponents in Nehru cup, especially Cameroon?
WK: Cameroon is off course a very powerful team. I’m told that they’re sending a team based on the home players, which itself is a strong team.
As I’ve said earlier, our immediate goal is to win the Nehru Cup. Ranking of the other teams are pretty close, we should be able to beat them.