Koevermans expects India to defend crown
India’s football coach Wim Koevermans said he expected India to defend their title in the upcoming Nehru Cup tournament to be held in New Delhi from August 22-September 2.
“Our goal is to win the Nehru Cup,’’ a confident Koevermans said after the national team’s training session at the Bangalore Football stadium on Friday.
The camp was shifted to Bangalore after heavy rains lashed Noida where Koevermans had his first session with the team on August 1.
The team had a one-hour warm-up session at the stadium with Koevermans and assistant coach Savio P Medeira putting the players through their paces. The squad was then divided into two teams as they played a practice match.
When asked about his impressions of the team, Koevermans sounded optimistic. “It was a very interesting session, am perfectly happy with the boys. It is my second session with them and it was good,’’ he added.
Koevermans was not unduly bothered about having the camp on an artificial pitch. “There are so many teams that play on artificial pitches and have no problems. Quality of artificial pitches are top class these days so we are quite happy with the conditions,’’ the Dutchman added.
With regards to injuries, the coach said he has no major worries apart from a few minor niggles.
Among the players listed for the camp, captain Sunil Chhetri and first choice goalkeeper Subrata Paul were the notable absentees. While Chhetri is busy with his engagements with Sporting Lisbon’s ‘B’ side in Portugal and would be able to make it only by the time Nehru Cup starts, Paul is unavailable after signing up with a German fourth division club and would be back for the latter stages of the camp.
The camp will end on the 15th and the team will leave for Delhi on the 16th for the last week of training.