No place for foreigners in AIFF XI: Bulpin

No place for foreigners in AIFF XI: Bulpin

Bulpin said he would not encourage bringing in foreign players as long as he is at the helm of the side, which has been floated by the national federation to groom players with an eye on the 2018 World Cup.

"We have no plans to sign any foreign players. We will stick to Indian players only. We are grooming the Indian players for the future," Bulpin said after AIFF beat HAL, Bangalore 2-1 in a sixth round I-League match here.

"You can say it is because an Englishman is the coach. May be an Indian coach would have wanted foreign players," the 59-year-old Englishman said in a lighter vein. All India Football Federation allows I-League clubs to have four foreigners in a match, including a player of Asian origin. The clubs can register four non-Asian foreigners in their rolls.

Bulpin, who had coached Philippines' national side and English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, said a rotation policy of the players is in place and all of them will play during the tournament.

"We have 27 players registered and have so far used 17 or 18 of them. There are injuries to five-six players now and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh is with the national side (for Asian Cup). Our plan is to give each player some time to play in the I-League," he said.

He informed that the players have a diet regime so that they do not accumulate fat in their body.

Asked if he thinks his strikers Jeje Lalpekhlua and Malswmfela were overweight, the coach said, "Yes Malswmfela is but not Jeje. We are working on reducing the fat on Malswmfela's body. We don't allow players tea and ensure them not to have excess of
sugar in their food."

Bulpin said the confidence of his boys will increase with every passing match and the management is looking for ways to do better in away matches.

"The boys are becoming increasingly confident with each match. I hope they will start doing well in away games. These are young boys and will be better with experience," he said.

AIFF XI lost 1-2 to Chirag United in their opening match in Kolkata before being drubbed 0-4 and 0-5 by East Bengal and Salgaocar respectively in away matches. They play formidable Churchill Brothers in their next match in Goa on January 3.

Bulpin was also not concerned with his side conceding in the dying minutes today, and in their last match against Air India on December 22.

"It is nothing new in football. If you see the English Premier League, a lot of goals are scored in dying minutes. The opposition will throw in more players upfront desperately looking for goal. Either the (trailing) team will score or the other team will do it in counter-attack," he said.

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