Saturday, November 27, 2010

HAL: Injury scare before I-league

Come next Friday and the mission I-league kicks-off. On a Saturday morning at the practice ground, it was business as usual for HAL - strenuous workout under the watchful eyes of the newly appointed coach, R Thyagaraj. However, few key players were not seen in the practice session – mainstay Xavier Vijaykumar missing from the ground and Hamza nursing a muscle cramp.

Bemused Hamza watches the proceedings from the gallery

Owing to the AFC coaching licensing criteria for I league division 1 teams, HAL has appointed a new coach in Thyagaraj. Hailing from Bangalore, Thyagaraj has played local football for his employer, BEL, all his life, later he took the coaching mantle for the same team. For the last couple of years, he was seen as an AFC Instructor conducting AFC certificate courses across India. 

Very vocal on the football pitch

Thyagaraj has all the necessary ingredients to be successful and earns the players’ respect. However, he lacks the coaching experience needed in a big scene like this. Meanwhile, Muralidharan, who was instrumental in bringing HAL in the big stage of I league division 1, will now don the role of Technical Director.  
Coach demonstrates an 1-1 situation to RC as the Technical Director enters the arena

Talking to the GardenCitySoccerStars, coach Thyagaraj sounded real, “I’m just 2 weeks old in this office and players have responded well. We have to move on with the available resources and take on our opponents.”

When asked about the inaugural game against JCT on next Friday, December 3, coach appeared little worried, “We have few injury vexes. Currently the injured players have gone for doctors consultation, I’m hoping that they will be fit to play against JCT.”

“We will be playing away from home and would apply a cautious approach. JCT is a set team (as against HAL), most of the players have represented Punjab in the Santosh Trophy. A draw against JCT would do good for us”, added the coach. 

Post practice pep-talk

Definitely Thyagaraj has task cut out all December as his team plays as many as 6 away games.

In the meantime, the soccer lovers of the garden city wait to witness HAL’s home match in the I-league division 1 after several seasons. As expected, the Bangalore Football Stadium should be ready by January 2011, and we’ll have some exciting football actions.

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