Playing abroad will improve Indian footballers: FC Pune City coach Platt

Mumbai, Sep 7 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Pune City’s head coach David Platt on Monday said he believes the country’s footballers must aim to go abroad, specially to European countries, to improve their standard.

The former English footballer said several Indian players including Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Jackichand Singh looked impressive in the franchise’s pre-season outing at Antalya, Turkey, ahead of the second edition of the ISL which starts on October 3.

This is the second phase of the club’s pre-season training plans. In the first phase, a conditioning camp was conducted at the team’s home ground at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune.

The entire squad, including the foreign signings, have assembled in Antalya to be trained under the British coach.

“I think Indian players going and playing in abroad especially European countries like Germany, Spain, England and Italy will help them improve their standard of playing. They can judge where they stand when they play against top players,” Platt told reporters during a conference call from Turkey.

“Specially Eugeneson and Jackichand and some others like Israil Gurung and Gouramangi Singh have impressed me in during the pre-season training. They have good technique, skills and they are professionally good. They are all God gifted players. Good enthusiasm and good character is some of the things I have noticed in them,” he said.

Speaking about Pune’s chances in the upcoming second edition, the coach said, “We have a balanced squad. I am happy with the players I have got. There are some good Indian and foreign players. All I am targeting is to win the ISL.”

With most of the teams heading abroad to countries like Turkey, South Africa and Spain for their pre-season training, Platt feels that weather conditions and other factors will not matter when they return to India and play in a hot and humid climate.

“Nowadays players are professional. Even European clubs also sometimes go out to train. With good playing facilities, good gym, good food and medical facilities, it will surely help the guys. When we play in morning, the temperature is hot and similar to that of India and when we train in evening, it is cooler which will be similar during November and December in India,” the coach said.

When asked about the toughest challengers for Pune in the ISL, he said, “We don’t want to waste our time thinking about other teams. We will look at what positives we have, what options we have and try to improve on those and give our best performance.”

Pune will open their campaign against Mumbai City FC in a home match at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium on October 5.

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