Pro Kabaddi League: New beginning for Bengal and its coach

For K. K. Jagadeesha, who could not realise his PKL dream in the only season he donned the Jaipur Pink Panthers, a stint with Bengal Warriors was a great opportunity to achieve his aspirations as a coach.

Jagadeesha has devised a foolproof plan to help the Bengal Warriors players last till the end.   -  Special Arrangement

It will be a new beginning for Bengal Warriors and its coach K.K. Jagadeesha in the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), starting on July 28.

Searching for some new ideas, Bengal Warriors – which did not perform up to its potential in season one, two and four and managed a last four spot in the third season – zeroed in on 2002 Asian Games gold medallist Jagadeesha.

For the Armyman, who could not realise his PKL dream in the only season he donned the Jaipur Pink Panthers, it was a great opportunity to achieve his aspirations as a coach.

“I could not get enough opportunities as a player as Indian Army did not allow us to play in the first two seasons. Then, I played in the third. But I was in the last phase of my career and had turned my focus to coaching. The offer from Bengal Warriors was a chance to showcase by ability as a coach,” Jagadeesha told Sportstar.

Manpreet Singh is the other man who has the distinction of taking part in the PKL as a player and a coach.

Jagadeesha has started his journey as a PKL coach with a systematic approach. “I have been coaching Army teams for the last five years. Here I want to share my knowledge with the players. We have been doing our camp (at the Tollygunge Club) here for the last 40-45 days and we are taking care of every aspect of the training.

“We avoided drafting injured players. Our maximum attention has been on fitness. We are also working on team combination, skill addition and recovery.”

Since the fifth PKL would continue for a longer duration due to addition of new teams, Jagadeesha has devised a foolproof plan to help the Bengal Warriors players last till the end. “We have kept substitutes for every position, including the raiders. Unlike the previous years, when Bengal used to be a defence oriented side, we have a nice balance of attack and defence. We should be able to reach at least the final this season,” Jagadeesha said with a note of confidence.

Bengal Warriors will start its campaign against Telugu Titans in Hyderabad on August 2.

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