Coach Ashan retained by Thalaivas, to be in charge until 2025
CHENNAI: Pro Kabaddi League franchise Tamil Thalaivas on Friday announced that it has retained the services of head coach Ashan Kumar, who will be in charge until 2025.
After replacing J Udaya Kumar six matches into Pro Kabaddi Season 9, veteran coach Ashan masterminded a superb turnaround and guided Thalaivas to its maiden play-off appearance. The southern side, which was languishing 11th on the table when Ashan took over the reins, went down fighting to Puneri Paltan in the semi-finals. “I am very happy. So far, I have done my work at Thalaivas. I feel really good,” Ashan told DT Next after extending his association with Thalaivas.
“I joined Thalaivas six matches into the season [last year]. At that time, I got attached to Thalaivas. I am still attached to Thalaivas, with all my heart. My mind is very clear. I did not think about other teams even after receiving offers from them. My view is clear; I want to be with Thalaivas,” added Ashan, who made the Tamil Nadu side a tough team to beat despite missing captain Pawan Sehrawat for almost the entire season.
Asked if the franchise has started planning for Pro Kabaddi Season 10, Ashan replied: “No, we are yet to do that. Things are not clear. The Asian Games may be hosted [at Hangzhou] in China in September-October. The PKL may be held after the Asian Games. We will [soon] sit with the owners and decide [on retentions].”
‘Will succeed if we play with discipline and stay together’
Ashan wants his team to continue playing a brand of kabaddi that is both effective and attractive. “Every coach [in Pro Kabaddi] will say that he wants to win the trophy. But, my thought is different. I want my players to have sound technique and good coordination. My team will present an attractive game to spectators. If we play with discipline and stay together, we will get gold or silver [in the upcoming season].” Ashan also confirmed that Anup Singh would stay at Thalaivas as assistant coach.
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