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Indian Football Team Coach Igor Stimac: Chhetri Won't Be in Team on Past Glory (Highlights)

Newly appointed Indian football team coach Igor Stimac’s first assignment would be at the King’s Cup in Thailand, in the first week of June. Get highlights of the Indian football team coach Igor Stimac and technical director (TD) Isac Doru’s media interaction below.
Indian football team coach Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac, Indian football team’s new coach, has started on the right note and has called up as many as nine debutants for the camp ahead of the King’s Cup. Get highlights of the Indian football team coach Igor Stimac's media interaction below.

Igor Stimac, who was appointed as head coach of the Indian men’s football team a little over a week back, held his first media interaction in New Delhi on May 24. The former Croatia international, alongside Indian football technical director Isac Doru, shared their vision, and give a brief outline of their roadmap for the future of not just the national team but also the game in the country. (Get highlights of the Indian football team coach Igor Stimac and technical director Isac Doru’s media interaction below)  

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Both Doru and Stimac seem to be on the same page regarding the way forward for Indian football. Doru seems more the philosopher, and Stimac the pragmatist.

It was quite admirable that both have identified and made clear that neither league (the Indian Super League and I-League) is dispensable and the way forward is integration.

Stimac has had some time with the national team and will be making his decision on the final squad for his first assignment (the King’s Cup in Thailand) within the next two days. He likes the old guys, but was clear when asked that Sunil Chhetri (or any senior pro for that matter) can’t feature in the team based on past glory. He wants to give youth a chance too.

Live blog

Doru Calls for Teamwork

Doru: If we work together, as a unit, everything is possible. If we don't work as a unit, the possible will become impossible.

Stimac Says Communication Key

Stimac: If we communicate, we can sort all the issues. Of course there are issues. Particularly between leagues. But with communication we can  fix this.

Media Friendly Coach

It’s quite clear that Stimac is very media friendly. He has referenced the media’s importance, and stressed on ‘your help and support’ twice already. That is actually quite a huge difference from other coaches (across sports) who have generally been dismissive of the media in the country. Maybe he’s just playing nice. Maybe he is nice. No judgements.

-- Vaibhav

Stimac on Stephen

Stimac: Constantine did really well with the players he had. I will try to make sure we have options. Plan A, B and C. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen if we make it.

Stimac on I-League vs ISL

Stimac says, “with communication we can fix this’ [the issues between leagues]”. In other related news, Praful Patel hasn’t met the owners from the I-League clubs who had written asking for assurances, and upon getting no answers pulled out of the Super Cup.

ISL Can't Buy Tradition: Stimac

Stimac:  Will take a hundred years for the ISL to become the I league. You cannot buy tradition.

Stimac Mirrors Pandit!

Wait a minute. Is Igor Stimac Arjun Pandit in disguise? He is saying stuff our boy has regularly said on 420 Grams shows where we debate the ISL-I-League debate.

Samples:

ISL has invested a lot of money. Will expect lot in return. It is only fair.

I-League has history and tradition.

ISL has all the top players.

I-League needs to be integrated to bring importance of tradition into the league game.

-- Vaibhav

Onto Camp and National Team

Finally someone asks Stimac about how the camp is going. The relief on his face at the change in topic is very clear. Phew.

Stimac on Chhetri

If you are on the live feed now, you may have heard a very familiar voice ask a question of Stimac. Any guess on who?

The question was about Sunil Chhetri and his importance in the team. Stimac gives us a headline as answer. "In football you don’t get paid for the past, you get paid for the present. It doesn’t matter whether you are role model or not, football is day by day."

Doru on Playing Style

Doru: We need to talk about how we will play the game. Will invite past players, from the 1970s, into these conversations. We have to, together, come up with a strategy of how we will play football.

Doru: Won't Say India is Cricket Nation

Isac Doru is talking about the need to plan, how we will play as a nation. The kind of thought process that can only be long term. ‘I don’t want to say you are a cricket nation. No! You are a moving nation, a dynamic nation, and we have to come up with a system and a concept for how we will play as a nation.’

Doru: Let's Define How We Dance With the Ball

Doru: Want to play a modern, competitive game. India is a nation of movement. We like an attacking way of play. And this national concept of how to play will be done as soon as possible. We have the best dancers in the world. Now we need to define how we want to dance.

Doru's Philosophy

‘How do you want to dance?’ asks Doru. Depends, sir. For weddings in November, like this.

Jokes aside, this is such a sophisticated answer from Doru [about the need for a style of play in Indian football], and such a farsighted way of thinking that it is mind boggling the AIFF understood his POV in the interview and appointed him.

Stimac, Doru on Same Page

That brings us to an end of the PC. Both Doru and Stimac seem to be on the same page regarding the way forward for Indian football. Which is obvious at the start of course. Doru seems more the philosopher, and Stimac the pragmatist.

ISL, I-League Indispensable: Stimac and Doru

It is quite admirable that at his very first press conference both of them have identified and made clear that neither league is dispensable and the way forward is integration. How much of this translates into actual action remains to be seen.

Doru has said that he would prefer to see the quality of game in India grow rather tna the quantity of games they play -- which perhaps is a backhanded way of suggesting that an expanded league isn’t the answer -- and it is fair to say he is right. More often than not I-League and ISL games lack a certain amount of intensity (something he identifies giving speed and running stats)

Stimac, the Pro Youth Coach

Stimac has had some time with the national team and will be making his decision on the final squad for his first assignment (the King's Cup) within the next two days. He likes the old guys, but he wants to give youth a chance too.

Look Out For Our Show

That’s that. Make of that (Isac Doru and Igor Stimac's ideas) what you will. Enjoy the rest of your day, while we go to work and produce a show for you to watch.

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