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Stephen Constantine: Never select players on basis of Man of the Match Awards

Stephen Constantine
Stephen Constantine

Photo courtesy: AIFF Media

In the last part of an exclusive interview with AIFF Media Indian National Coach Stephen Constantine speaks at length about his choice of players for the forthcoming Preparatory Camp which kicks-off in Pune on August 23.


There have been some surprises in your selection of the list?
We are in the process of rebuilding our National Team and it’s obvious that the door is always open.

What made you zero down on the list of goalkeepers?
If you look at the group of goalkeepers you will see that we have selected five of them and all have been done in collaboration with my Goalkeeping Coach Rogerio Ramos.
You are also bound to notice one more common trait – a significant trait, in fact, and that is their height. It’s one of the key factors in international level football.
There have been others who have also done well but when you are talking about international level, the five selected goalkeepers from a height perspective fit the criteria. We are also trying to develop some goalkeepers among the group.

Furthermore, there have also been some new additions.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. A couple comes back from injuries and it’s appropriate we have a look at them.
I also want to see some more midfielders in action. I want to see them train. They are players who have featured prominently in the Hero I-League in the past and this Camp gives me the opportunity to see them up close.

What’s the criteria for selection?
Some players have not done enough for me while some have done what I want and have, hence, been named for the Camp. I never select the National Team based on how many Awards (Man of the Match) anyone wins. Each player must fulfill a specific role within the National Team and it’s not always the same role which he performs for his club. That’s why some get the call, while the others wait.
I neither select players on the basis of their contracts with their respective clubs. In some cases, it may be about the desperation of the club to get the concerned player in that particular position and it does not always determine his value to the National Team.