Thoroughly Enjoyed Training The U-17 Boys: Constantine
National Coach Stephen Constantine says he “thoroughly enjoyed training the U-17 boys in Goa. Constantine who was “asked by All India Football Federation to help the U-17 Team also informed that the commitment from the boys was “commendable.” In a freewheeling interview towww.the-aiff.com Constantine spoke at length about his experience, his training process, the team bonding sessions, value addition from his support staff and help from AIFF technical Director Savio Medeira. EXCERPTS:
How was your experience?
It was very positive indeed. There was a very good chemistry and most importantly the U-17 players enjoyed themselves on the pitch. The support staff were also very supportive.
What did you insist upon?
I think the players needed to relax and not get worried about making mistakes. There were serious sessions as much there were team bonding sessions. The commitment from the boys was commendable and they never shied away from working hard. It was high tempo and the boys were upbeat.
Danny (Deigan) also showed them a lot of stability exercises which they had not done before and in the long run, it should help them.
You have always insisted on team bonding sessions.
Yeah, we had a couple of them. It was important to take the boys out of their comfort zone and the boys were surprised when we took them for Go Karting. It was fun and they approached it in the right spirit.
We also took them to do some fun sessions on the beach. Along with that, there were also some video presentations, the same sort of stuff which we do with the Senior Team.
Did you enjoy being with the U-17 boys?
I was asked by the All India Football Federation to help the U-17 Team and I considered it my duty to help in whichever manner I could.
I thoroughly enjoyed being with them. In fact, if you ask me, I just love to train. I had done a couple of days with the Women’s Team prior to the Women’s SAFF Championship and had loved that bit as well. I like working on the pitch; that’s what I do best.
How did the boys react?
How do you gauge the reaction of a player? Their body language was very positive and they wanted more. There was laughter as much there was seriousness. You could physically see them enjoying the sessions.
How much of a value addition were Danny, Rogerio Ramos and Shanmugam Venkatesh?
You cannot measure their value ever. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without them. Overall the boys got a feel of being a part of the National Team as they have the potential to have future National Team players.
Venky (Venkatesh) is developing into a very good coach and it gave the boys an opportunity to work with him. Danny worked on the aspect of sports science while the Goalkeepers had a fantastic opportunity to work under Ramos. It provided him the chance to see potentially whether they would be able to step up the ladder in the future.
I also need to mention about Abhishek Yadav’s presence and the help from Technical Director Savio Medeira.
How much of a help was Savio Medeira?
He was of huge help. He has a tremendous challenge in front of him as the Technical Director of the Country and it was good that he was present there. His inputs and his experience added value to the whole project.