Saturday, July 27, 2013

[PART I] Ashley Westwood: Managing Bengaluru FC will add another dimension to my coaching skill

Here's the first part of the two-part interaction gcsstars.com had with the Manager of Bengaluru FC Ashley Westwood. In the next part, you will listen Ashley talking about his team, I-League and, Indian Football, and so on...

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Must have been a whirlwind activity for this former assistant manager of three championship clubs in England – meet the gaffer in chief of Bengaluru FC, Ashley Westwood! 

A product of Manchester United Academy has joined the Jindal-backed football team to add another dimension to his coaching skills. Different country, different challenges, and one can only improve by doing something different from what would be done back at home. As Ashley puts, “For me to go and seek different experiences can only broaden my horizon as a coach.”  

The Bengaluru FC manager has set the right foot forward by getting the team organized and applying professional approach. Get the three magic mantras - Professionalism, Discipline, and Respect! Instill discipline, be punctual, eat proper diet, and stay focused. As the code of conduct says try respecting each other, applicable to every team members and coaching staff. 


With teams ‘no relegation’ acting as a cushion for building a strong team in coming years doesn’t succor Ashley much, “It may help from a company’s (JSW Sports) point of view but certainly not from a player’s or coaches. Whether you are immune to relegation or not, you set your standards and you want to achieve it.” He adds, “When you step on the pitch there is a certain element of pride and respect you want to earn and I don’t want to compromise on that!” 

Bengaluru FC is planning to play few friendlies before I-League starts. That will help the team to get an ideal combination and test the players in real match situation. 

The team currently is having 18 players, with a few on trials. The plan manager Ashley had is to set a core team, and then leave 5-6 slots vacant, “We plan to have a squad of around 25 players, Depending on the need, we will be filling up the remaining slots. Off-course, we are not going to invite 50 players for trials, instead, we would be testing a limited number in game situation, which will help us judge them better.” 

Any target he is setting for his team in this season, prompt response, “There is no set target, I just want to player to learn as much as possible, will be happy if they keep improving on weekly and monthly basis. We’ve improved on fitness and professionalism since we started training on last Monday.”

With defender John Johnson coming on board from day 1, the rest of the overseas players are setting their foot. Another defender, Curtis Osano has already landed in the city, and medio Johnny Menyongar will be arriving on Monday. 

To be continued...