The former Dutch international, Wim Koevermans met India’s U-22 boys for the first time at a practice session in Muscat and spoke about India's performance against the United Arab Emirates, the coaching philosophy, discipline and a lot more.
You watched India take on United Arab Emirates in the U-22 AFC Championship. What is impression?
Koevermans: I am quite pleased with the manner things were conducted on the pitch. Obviously, there are areas of improvement. But one needs to remember that the performance came against a strong Nation as United Arab Emirates. We had our moments on the field and could have won it. There were some elements which are very promising indeed.
India's technical director Rob Baan added: “It was heartening to see that boys were focused all throughout. They were passionate to play for their country, though I must admit that the passion at times, was disturbing the tactics a bit. Baan smiled, so did Wim.
What was your perception of Indian football prior to taking over?
Koevermans: There were some similarities in the style of play with Ireland, the last Nation I worked in. But at the International level, the game has changed vastly and we need to implement the same to keep ourselves updated. We need to get accustomed fast and try to develop with a young set of boys.
It was only 16 days of practice that the U-22 squad had under Arthur Papas prior to coming over to Oman. Are you impressed the manner the boys have settled down to the new style of play?
The new style and discipline will take time. There will have to be changes and it always takes time. So we just can’t afford to hurry at the moment. Let’s be patient and the difference will be evident.
You will be officially taking charge from July 1 and the Nehru Cup will be your first assignment. What are your plans for the Nehru Cup?
Koevermans: It’s too early to comment on that at the moment. I have some meeting lined up in the first week of July and only after that will I be in a position to dish it out.