'Bollywood's not my cup of tea'

Professional approach

'Bollywood's not my cup of tea'

For Ashley Westwood, team coach of Bengaluru Football Club (BFC), the City’s been a good place to be at. As a City, he feels that Bangalore offers one of the best climates and has nice places to visit, and Ashley feels that he’s at home.

Having been here since July, Ashley has tried a bit of Indian food. “In England, there are many Indian restaurants, thus I’m not foreign to the food. I don’t mind eating spicy food. I’ve tried a restaurant in Koramangala, where I had some murg curry and it was nice,” he says.

Ask coach Ashley, how hard was it to train an Indian team and he says, “I just told the players what was required. I’ve used the kind of fitness routines like most European players do, and the same coaching techniques that I’ve used in England. Thankfully, the team has responded accordingly.”

As a coach, Ashley says that it was the fitness levels that he focussed on when he started training with BFC. “Getting the diet right, getting the players into a professional footballer’s routine — day in and day out were other points I focussed on. After that, it was about the approach and the technical aspects of the game,” he says. Ashley smiles and adds, “It’s a 24-hour job being a professional football player, and that’s what I tried to communicate to them.”

During this football season, how did Ashley deal with stress? He says that heusually just goes for a drink with the players. “Or I just get back to my work, and get on the field and it usually relaxes me. The best way to keep things off my mind is by working. I go by the adage, ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’.”

Positive thinking is a must for a leader, and Ashley says that all he looks for is commitment in the players. “If you give in your 100 per cent and try your best, it is the best formula for anything.”

Ashley’s not got a chance to travel yet, but he looks forward to shopping and see more of the country soon, as the team will be travelling to Kolkata and Pune for matches. “I’m looking forward to that experience,” he says.

Having been around Indians, Ashley says that unlike what he had heard, he was surprised with their response. “I was told that the players wouldn’t be punctual and wouldn’t be reliable. But, I have only seen perfect professionalism, the players are always willing to learn and listen and have a great team spirit,” he exclaims.

Ask Ashley, if he’s watched any Indian movies, now that he’s been in the country for a few months, he quickly answers, “Bollywood’s not my cup of tea.”

Ashley’s impressions about the City is that it is westernised. “There’s plenty to do here for everyone, and it’s a cosmopolitan City,” he wraps up.

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