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Koevermans: Keep opposition in mind

India coach Wim Koevermans during an AIFF Coaching Seminar

National Coach Wim Koevermans emphasized and demonstrated various match related situations both in theory and practical sessions as the AIFF Coaching Seminar gathered further shape in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday (July 18).

“All practice sessions need to be organised keeping the opposition in mind. The players need to be taught and encouraged to express match related behavior while in practice,” he stressed which the 65 participants took note of. “As Coaches, all of us need to develop our own concept and prepare likewise. The build-up stays the most integral part,” he opined.

Koevermans who was speaking on ‘How to play various systems?’ often turned to the drawing board to explain what he was referring to. “The aim is to find that extra spare man in the midfield. You always have to find one – at any cost,” he added, as he explained various formations and how to counter them on the field.

He backed all the theories with a practical demonstration later at the Father Agnel ground where the first AIFF Regional Academy is based.

Earlier in the day, Technical Director Rob Baan conducted another practical session – ‘Skill Development — from Technique to Tactics.’

Understanding that modern coaching needs to work hand in hand with Medical Science, there was a separate session conducted by Dr. Manabendra Bhattacharya, Medical Consultant, AIFF. A sports medicine expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Bhattacharya made a presentation on ‘Medical Care and treatment of Youth Players – including age verification,’ where he stressed monitoring of basic health parameters and emergency situations on the pitch.

He urged the coaches to be extra cautious in case of match related injuries and react immediately. “Medical Science teaches us that an off the ball collapse can lead to death within 180 seconds. So you need to react at lightning speed fast,” he explained.

Dr. Bhattacharya felt extra care should be taken to immunize players and personal hygiene. “It’s absurd that Indian clubs don’t care about adult immunization at all. In most cases, players are contracted for an average 40 lakh on an annual basis but the clubs stay reluctant to immunize players for another Rs. 3000. In the process, the clubs lose the services of the players and football suffers,” he maintained.

“Age verification is a very complicated process,” he added. “It’s mostly determined by secondary sexual characters, dental age and bone age, depending on the appearance and fusion of ossification centres which can be directed by X-rays and MRI tests.

He also had a detailed interactive session wherein he nullified many a false myth about women footballers.

(AIFF Press Release)