Will neither underestimate nor overestimate any team, says Garhwal FC coach

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) The 2020-21 Indian football season is set to begin with the I-League Qualifier 2020 simultaneously in Kolkata and Kalyani which will feature five teams facing each other to determine who gets a direct entry into the 2020-21 edition of the I-League.

Delhi-based Garhwal FC are among the contenders and in a free-wheeling interview with www.i-league.org, head coach Vikas Rawat spoke about the team’s preparation, assessment of their opponents, their style of play and much more.

“There is a lot of hope. We are very optimistic. It was in 2014 that we last played in the second division League but couldn’t qualify. This time around, hopefully, we can make it through. Our preparations are on-track and all plans are in place. We are a community club from Delhi and one of our motives is to represent our home state at the national level and bring Delhi on the footballing map in India,” Rawat said.

“Everyone at the club is hopeful that we will perform well. There are no second thoughts on our minds and we’re eagerly waiting for the matches to start,” he added.

Talking about the competition the team would be facing in the Qualifier, Rawat said: “Personally I do not read too much into the opposition — as in, I don’t look at their names or the history of the clubs. All the teams are our competitors — they are the ones standing between us and first place. When it comes to the pitch, all teams are equal and we have to see things for what they are. We will neither underestimate any team nor shall we overestimate.

“The same attitude is drilled into the players. I have worked with this set of youngsters for the last 7-8 years and I have full trust in them. We have to be strong physically and mentally, and that is what we are working on in training. No matter who the team is in front of us, our main target is to beat them on the day — that is the mindset of the entire squad.”

The coach further said that all the players in his team have a good game sense. “Our basic philosophy is building up from the back and keep the ball on the ground. If we need to change, we can switch. But the basic system remains the same. Focus on short passes, more 1-v-1s, and we believe in dribbles and cutbacks more than crossing.”



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