Constantine: Thoroughly enjoyed stint with U-17 team

After spending a week in Goa with India’s U-17 team, chief national coach Stephen Constantine says that he has ‘thoroughly enjoyed training’ the colts.

Stephen Constantine has been asked by the AIFF to conduct a few training sessions with the U-17 team till the time it found a new coach.   -  Photo: K. Murali Kumar

After spending a week in Goa with India’s U-17 team, chief national coach Stephen Constantine says that he has ‘thoroughly enjoyed training’ the colts.

After the exit of U-17 coach Nicolai Adam, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had asked Constantine to conduct a training session with the youngsters, so that their preparations for the World Cup aren’t affected. “It was indeed a very positive experience of working with the U-17 players. There was a very good chemistry, and the players enjoyed themselves on the pitch,” the British coach told the aiff.com during an interview.

During the camp, Constantine focused on the fact that the players were relaxed and didn’t worry about making mistakes. “There were serious sessions as much there were team bonding sessions. The commitment from the boys was commendable and they never shied away from working hard. It was high tempo and the boys were upbeat,” he said.

With just a few months left for the tournament, the coach also believes that it’s important to develop team bonding. And that’s why, he insisted on team bonding sessions during the camp. “We had a couple of them. It was important to take the boys out of their comfort zone and the boys were surprised when we took them for Go-Karting. It was fun and they approached it in the right spirit,” he said, adding: “We also took them to do some fun sessions on the beach. Along with that, there were also some video presentations, the same sort of stuff which we do with the senior team.”

The coach is also happy with the way technical director Savio Medeira and the support staff backed him. “Savio was of huge help. He has a tremendous challenge in front of him as the technical director of the country and it was good that he was present there. His inputs and his experience added value to the whole project,” the coach said.