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

Stephen Constantine: Happy with reaction of ISL coaches

Indian national football team
Indian national football team

Photo Courtesy: AIFF Media

In Part 3 of his interview with AIFF Media, Indian national coach Stephen Constantine speaks at length on the forthcoming camp, reaction of Hero Indian Super League coaches and his expectations from Iran.

The concluding part of the interview where he speaks about his selection of players for the camp is to be published by AIFF Media tomorrow (August 12, 2015).

When does the Preparatory Camp kick-off?
The 28 Players and the support staff assemble on August 23 in Pune and we start practicing next day onwards.

Are all the Players available?
Yes! I have been very happy with the reaction of the Coaches of the Hero Indian Super League Teams. All of the Coaches I have spoken to have shown great respect for the National Team and a willingness to work together in the next few months. It’s difficult for them because of the shortage of time but it’s also difficult for us.
We had agreed on the Calendar several months back.

What do you expect from the match against Iran?
They will be very difficult. Many of their Players play in European Leagues. They would be facing Guam prior to coming here and I think they will be very focused of not dropping any more points after drawing their away match to Turkmenistan. We need time to gel and understand each other.

How much tough will it get?
You also need to remember that besides their stature, the League in Iran kicked-off on July 30 and their domestic based Players would have played 5 competitive League games prior to them taking on Guam prior to playing India.
Furthermore, the other Leagues around the World are also set to kick-off in Europe where many of the Iranian Players are playing they have their seasons. It’s always pertinent for the development of the National Team that the players stay in peak condition for the FIFA calendar dates that incorporate the Asian Cup & the World Cup Qualifiers.
Rightly or wrongly, the Qualifiers are based around the European Calendar and 90 percent of the Leagues in Europe kick-off in August. Henceforth, a National Team will have its Players coming back after the usual break, followed by the pre-season, Friendly games and anywhere from three to six matches in their Domestic Leagues before they face their opponents in the World Cup Qualifiers.

(Interview & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)