AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: India U-17 Women’s Team head coach Thomas Dennerby hailed his coaching staff for the crucial role they play in preparing the players for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2021.
The Swede, who coached Sweden to a third-place finish in the Women’s World Cup, a quarterfinal finish in the Olympics (with Sweden), and an AWCON title (with Nigeria) to his name, said the support from the support staff is what makes his team a special unit.
“The technical aspect of the side is well balanced with the development of physical attributes, which is overseen by fitness coach Per Karlsson, who has had a vast experience in a vast array of sports,” Dennerby mentioned in a live chat with AIFF TV.
“Per is an expert on strength and conditioning. He has worked with teams across various sports like (ice) hockey and different track-and-field disciplines,” Dennerby informed. “The way he has been working on the players’ fitness during the lockdown, I think they will all be in top shape once we hit the training ground when the lockdown is over.”
During the lockdown, the coaches have been monitoring the training routines of different players via video conferencing.
Speaking on goalkeeping coach Precious Dede of Nigeria, Dennerby believes that the vast experience that the former Super Falcons custodian brings to the plate is something that all the players can learn from.
“I’ve known Precious from my days as the Sweden coach. She played against us for Nigeria, and we always knew that she was a very good keeper. Later when I took over the Nigerian team, she was in the set-up too, at first helping train local keepers, and then she moved into the main coaching staff. She was a great help during the World Cup in France,” Dennerby quipped. “Precious is very jovial with the girls and they are learning a lot from her experience at the top level.”
“Communication is a key. One-third of them speak English well, while the rest speak Hindi. But they mostly understand the language of football,” Dennerby added.
“The staff has been crucial in helping to bridge the gaps in communication. It is not much of a problem on the pitch, but language can become a barrier when we are training on our webinars. That’s where the staff really help out,” he explained.
The 60-year-old further went on to praise assistant coach Alex Ambrose, for bringing a winning mentality into the team.
“Alex has the will to win every game. He helps the girls understand how important the desire to win is,” said Dennerby. “You always need to have someone like that to gain that competitive edge in the team.”