AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: Stephen Constantine preferred to hit the bush and not walk past it in his first Official Media Interaction since taking over as the Head Coach of the Indian National Team.
“I am very excited to be here in India. There is a lot of work left but I promise that I am up for it. I will do everything I can to improve.”
Pointing to his Tie which had the National Colours, Constantine who had earlier Coached India to win the LG Cup during his first stint in India in 2002 said: “This was handmade in Mumbai some 13 years back. I am happy to wear it again.”
Constantine’s first assignment for India is against Nepal on March 12 and 17 In Guwahati and Kathmandu respectively in the World Cup Qualifiers Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1.
“We need to work hard to win those two games. I promise that we will give everything on the field. Off course the matches would be difficult as Nepal have a tough mentality. We work hard as it increases our chances of success.”
Referring to a question, the National Coach quipped: “I haven’t yet decided on my Captain. I will work with my boys and then decide on my Captain.”
The Indian National Team assembles for a preparatory Camp in Guwahati on March 4, 2015.
Stressing on shaping up a better future, Constantine declared that he “wanted to set up a scouting system.”
“My mission is to setup a successful scouting network. I want to touch everything from the State Leagues to the National level Tournaments to the Universities. I am sure that there are hundreds of Players who are capable of playing for India.”
He also pointed out that things have bettered for India in terms of popularity, especially after the inaugural edition of the Hero Indian Super League.
“The Hero ISL has proved that Indians love Football as much as they love their Cricket. We need to cash in on that. It’s not every day that you get to train with the likes of Mikael Silvestre and others. Training with such Players would obviously help you to improve.”
Speaking on his reunion with his former Captain Shanmugam Venkatesh as the Assistant Coach of the National Team, Constantine informed: “Venky was with me right from the start and he knows what I am like, the manner I want to play and what I want. I think we need to give our young Coaches a chance. He is somebody who is willing to learn and is energetic. Let’s give him a shot and see what happens.”
The Englishman who guided Rwanda to a record ranking of 68 in the FIFA ladder in his last assignment prior to coming to India, also proposed a new idea of multi-national Passports that could see Players of Indian origin play for the National Team.
“I want Players who love their Country. There are a lot of Players who are playing in foreign Leagues at the moment. I would suggest for a multi-national passport for such Players. It’s just an idea, but I would like if it can be made possible because everybody else is doing it.”
Posted on : Tuesday February 24, 2015