CCFC coach Akbar comes up with idea to help fringe players

Even at a time when football, across the length and breadth of the globe, has been forced into an unwelcome break due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chennai City FC head coach Akbar Nawas has got his thinking cap on, looking for ideas to upgrade the level of fringe players in the I-League.
CCFC coach Akbar comes up with idea to help fringe players
Akbar Nawas


During an Instagram interaction with Real Kashmir FC manager David Robertson, Singaporean Akbar suggested games involving only bench-bound footballers, apart from the regular I-League matches, would be beneficial as many end up warming the dugout for the entire second division season.
“If there is a separate competition (for Indian players who are starved of game time in the I-League), it will be helpful for coaches to elevate them to the playing eleven. When two clubs meet on Saturday, maybe the second choices and third choices (of both first teams) can be a part of another match on Sunday morning,” Akbar came up with a plan.
With each club registering 20+ players for the I-League – whose duration is relatively shorter when compared to other tournaments in the world – bosses try not to tinker too much with the combinations.
Massive shake-ups in the starting line-up occur only at times of injury crisis and cramped scheduling.
“I agree with that. We (managers) pretty much tend to put the same team week in week out. When you suddenly start a player who had been on the bench for the last ten games, you expect a lot from him as far as match fitness, sharpness and other stuff are concerned,” David welcomed the proposal from Akbar, who admitted he isn’t sure if the model would work out or not. “I don’t know how feasible it is in terms of logistics and resources.
However, it will be a great opportunity (for the domestic players who don’t feature regularly for the senior team). Also, there aren’t quality clubs in our region to even test our reserves,” said Akbar.
The 44-year-old is currently locked down in a hotel in Coimbatore but hopes to reach his homeland in a week or two. “The consulate in Chennai is still negotiating with the government regarding the chartered flight. It is not easy for the Indian government because so many countries are trying to get their citizens back home. I guess we are in a queue. I am in constant touch with the Singapore embassy,” added Akbar.

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