The Indian senior men's national team has been preparing for the upcoming King's Cup, which kicks off in Buriram on June 5.
The Blue Tigers have been training under new coach Igor Stimac, who has brought his own coaching staff. Among those, is the team's new strength and conditioning coach - Luka Radman.
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Radman was part of the Croatian football men's national team's World Cup campaign in 1998, where it finished third. He was also involved in Croatia's silver medal win in men's basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and Croatian men’s water polo team's silver medal glory in the 1999 European Championship.
The Indian team is currently training under Radman and the team seems to be enjoying and learning under its new 'Professor'.
“He is very knowledgeable, and is someone who has worked with a lot of top players, and at top places,” said captain Sunil Chhetri. “Most importantly, he is very jolly. It’s not one of the qualities which you need to possess to be a good physical trainer, but it definitely helps."
“There are a lot of minute details from him on how to improve yourself physically. A lot of players are gathering this information from him. Apart from my own experience, the players are also very happy. They feel it’s helping them,” explained Chhetri.
Coach Igor Stimac, who has known Radman since his teenage years, said, "He is one of the most experienced fitness coaches in Europe. He has been working with me for nearly 30 years.
"He is full of experience and is exactly the sort of guy we need here. He is the one who will help organising all work needed, and players are already enjoying with him.”
Defender Sandesh Jhingan and defensive midfielder Pronay Halder too had words of praise for the 62-year-old.
“He is bringing his different ideas about fitness, and about how it is done. He comes with vast experience, and wants us to learn from him,” said Jhingan.
“Professor is a mental toughness teacher. Most players don’t like physical exercises as they tend to be monotonous. You cannot be harping on the same stuff every day. And that’s where Professor stands out,” said Halder.
“The variety of his drills make him special. None of his exercises are monotonous. It’s important for the players to enjoy physical training, and that’s helping us."
India's first match in the King's Cup will be against Curacao on June 5.
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