PKL 2019: Telugu Titans coach excited to work with new team

New coach of Telugu Titans Gholamreza Mazandarani is focused on keeping his players fit for a long season of Pro Kabaddi League.

Gholamreza Mazandarani (extreme right) is satisfied with the team for the upcoming season.   -  special arrangement

Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) is a totally different challenge compared to coaching the Iranian national team, feels Gholamreza Mazandarani of Iran, the newly-appointed coach of Telugu Titans.

In an exclusive chat with Sportstar on Tuesday, Gholamreza, who guided his national team to a gold in 2018 Asian Games, says that the workload management of the players over a period of three months is the most crucial thing.

“For, even if one key player gets injured, the performance of the team will come down by 20 per cent,” he said. “I personally feel that the season would have be perfect if it were to be of 70 days which should be good for every one - players, support staff and the fans too,” he said.

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“A lot of attention needs to be paid to the fitness levels of the players. Apart from skills, fitness is the key,” feels the Iranian coach.

“We have a very young side and I feel that combination of Vishal Bharadwaj and the exciting Siddharth Desai should test the best of the opposition. Overall, we have a very good, balanced team on hand which should deliver the results,” the Titans coach said.

“I don’t want to comment on Rahul Chaudhari. It was a the management decision (Thailavas got him in a straight bid),” he said.

“Quite naturally, we want to be the champions. But, it is not going to be easy as all the teams look good on paper with some quality players. But again, I personally believe any team is good only on the ground out there and not on paper. So, I will try my best to see Titans give off their best performances conistently,” he explained.

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Interestingly, Gholamreza, who coached U Mumbai last season, says thanks to the PKL, kabaddi players back home in Iran have become more popular and sought-after. “Well, in terms of support to the sport, it is not as big as it is in India. Definitely, winning the men’s and women’s gold in Asiad did see lot of youngsters taking up the sport,” he said.