Focus on technique:Verheijen

Dutch fitness conditioning coach Raymond Verheijen, who was here as part of a three-day coaches’ training programme, found Indian footballers lacking in technique and tactics.

Verheijen pointed out that “small football countries” tend to focus more on fitness to compensate for technique and tactics which should be avoided.

“The most important thing is decision making and that players learn to play together and communicate. The next thing is good technique or technical execution of the decision. And then comes fitness. It should be the third element in a coaching programme. With fitness you can become quicker but it will be of no use if you are not technically and tactically sound,” Verheijen, who had been associated with top clubs like Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea, told reporters on Thursday.

Verheijen was here on the request of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) technical director Robert Baan, who was baffled by mounting Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury to the Indian players.

“We need to have a common approach in fitness training if the national team has to show results. We will implement Verheijen’s suggestions in our new fitness plan,” said Baan.

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