THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Colm Toal: It’s down to endurance in these tournaments

India U-19 players getting a massage

India U-19 players getting a massage

According to a study done by renowned Football Coach and Fitness Instructor Raymond Verheijen, teams playing after just two days’ recovery against teams who had enjoyed at least a three-day gap were found to be 42% less likely to win.

“I don’t see that the authorities can continue to ask teams to play twice in three days. It is simply not fair play,” Verheijen has been quoted as saying.

Almost echoing the 41-year old Dutch who is arguably world football’s foremost authority on player Periodisation, India’s Youth Development Head Coach Colm Joseph Toal brought to the fore the challenges of playing four matches in eight days, and the importance of recovery.

“When you are playing four matches in the span of eight days, the going gets really tough,” Toal told “We are lucky to get a break before we play the highest ranked Nation in our Group. But look at Nepal; they play four matches in six days. It’s really very tough for a small side who are ranked lowest in the Group,” added Toal.

India, who got the better of Nepal by a solitary goal on Sunday (October 6, 2013) play Uzbekistan (57th on FIFA Rankings) on Thursday (October 10, 2013) followed by Turkmenistan on Saturday (October 12, 2013).

“When you play in such a condensed tournament, it goes down to the Team which can recover fastest. It’s basically a battle of endurance. Also teams who have a reservoir of fit players, because they are the ones who recover faster than their less fit counterparts,” opined the Brit Coach.

India Team Physiotherapist Akshay Samant shed light on the activities that help in recovering faster. “It’s very difficult to recover in such a short span of time,” Samant

“We make the players take ice baths immediately after the match, this helps in the wash out of the lactic acid that gets built up and also takes care of any Micro-trauma that has occurred during the game,” he added.

“The following day, in the morning, we have a pool session, wherein we have a light jogging/stretching session in pool that has a hydrotherapeutic effect on the recovery, as it helps reduce any Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

“Added to that the boys work in pairs doing a light massage along with some Foam Rolling after the Recovery session that consists of again a walking/jogging/stretching routine done in the evening,” the 24-year old elaborated.

Toal highlighted how well his wards recovered after that tough opening encounter against hosts Qatar last Friday night (October 4, 2013).

“The Boys don’t play such high-intensity games that often. Added to that, Qatar were excellent, especially in the second half when we were having problems coping with the pace of their play. But to recover within 48 hours, which is the bare minimum as per the FIFA mandate, and perform the way we did was a credit to the Boys’ character and endurance,” Toal said.

“It is not enough time for recovery when you are playing so many games in such a short time. It may be enough time when you are playing on a Saturday and then again on Monday and then play your next match the following Saturday,” he added.

“I am happy that we have such a fit Squad and that reflects well on our Coaching Staff and the work they have done,” the Coach maintained.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)