ISL 2020: ‘Quite excited at prospect of replacing key gamers’, says FC Goa’s director of football Ravi Puskur

ISL 2020: 'Quite excited at prospect of replacing key players', says FC Goa's director of football Ravi Puskur

Ravi Puskur, FC Goa’s director of football, spoke concerning the staff’s success on and off the pitch, the ambitions for the upcoming season and the rebuilding course of below new head coach Juan Ferrando.

In the six seasons of Indian Super League (ISL), FC Goa has achieved the highest 4 spot in 5 of them, the truth is they topped the standings twice. They had been additionally runners-up twice within the competitors’s closing. Last yr, they had been the very best facet within the league, successful 12 matches out of 18 and securing a spot within the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Although they’re but to win the ISL trophy, FC Goa has been one of probably the most constant groups because the inception of the league. The staff’s model of football, particularly below former coach Sergio Lobera, has been revelled whereas their recruitment technique has additionally been on the mark.

Ravi Puskur, FC Goa’s director of football, not too long ago spoke to Firstpost concerning the staff’s success on and off the pitch, the ambitions for the upcoming season and the rebuilding course of below new head coach Juan Ferrando.


FC Goa has been a hit story on and off the sector. Be it about establishing an id or performances on the pitch. Is there a selected blueprint the membership has been following?

There’s no such blueprint. It all stems from our homeowners. Our homeowners got here in season three, and there was a bit of a spot between season three and 4. So it allowed them to know the nuances of what is going on at the membership. To perceive the very best practices and all the things. So then we selected a imaginative and prescient. What we need to do for the membership going ahead. And it was not speculated to be for a yr or two however to be a long run mission. Something that permits us to construct a strong basis.

The very first thing we mentioned was what do we have to do to enhance Indian footballers and notably, Goan footballers. And how does that resonate from the model of football we needed to play. One factor we understood was that we wanted to play a method of football the place a participant needs to be on the ball as a lot as potential. Because the one means a participant can enhance isn’t by working extra kilometres and kilometres aimlessly. It’s by him making smarting choices on the ball and off the ball. We don’t imagine {that a} participant has to run 20kms to have a profitable sport. A participant can run 5 minutes, and if he does that extraordinarily properly, attacking the best areas, taking on the ball at the best moments and making the best choices, it may possibly have an effect. So based mostly on that, we determined we needed to have gamers on the ball.

Because the extra touches you may have on the ball, the longer you spend on the ball, the extra superior your pondering of your sport will get. You are usually not simply eager about the kilometres to run but additionally about area, distance and time. This is what we needed to do at the primary staff stage to start out the development. And the key issue is all of these is having a youth growth program, which additionally replicated the identical issues. You cannot anticipate a participant who has been enjoying a totally totally different model to return in and adapt to our model as a result of it is not straightforward to drag off. It requires lots of apply and understanding of the sport. It’s not a blueprint as such we copied however the concept comes from the truth that what we have to do to develop Indian football and particularly Goan footballers.

This isn’t just for five-five years. Internally, now we have objectives set for 10 years. While the objectives can differ in phrases of monetary aims and different such issues however one factor that can have a steady presence is the model of football. Because we’re satisfied that that is one of the best ways to develop gamers.

‘The very first thing we mentioned was what do we have to do to enhance Indian footballers and notably, Goan footballers’. ISL/Sportzpics

You spoke about creating Indian gamers and particularly Goan footballers. But at the tip of the day, ISL is a contest with stakes concerned, like successful the trophy and qualifying for the AFC Champions League. How do you plan to strike this stability of creating gamers but additionally successful?

Look, that’s the final purpose. Being capable of produce high quality gamers however at the identical time be aggressive. It’s not a straightforward activity. It’s a balancing act. What that requires us to do is talk successfully to the primary staff and youth growth and guarantee all of us are on the identical web page. Players development is essential to us but additionally successful. If it looks like a participant who’s presumably leaving, there is a sure place to be stuffed, we are going to clearly look internally for substitute. If we will not try this then now we have to look outdoors.

What is a precedence? The precedence is to stability each. We need to win trophies and the extra we win trophies, the gamers will really feel extra assured and in addition the membership turns into an excellent vacation spot for gamers from each India and outdoors India as properly.

Recruitment has additionally been a giant optimistic for the membership. Does the membership all the time recruit gamers eager about their long-term aims and the place does the position of head coach come on this side?

What is key is that the pinnacle coach, the membership and everyone within the recruitment staff are on the identical web page. If we try this, then it’s now not a rocket science. Ideally, a coach ought to be capable to inform us that that is the type of participant I’m on the lookout for. Let’s take an instance of a striker. A coach ought to be capable to inform us what type of a striker he’s on the lookout for. Is he on the lookout for a giant goal man? Because he is aware of how the puzzle items will match on the pitch. His job is to suit them collectively and get the very best end result. He has to inform us whether or not he’s on the lookout for a striker who’s massive and robust, With his again to the purpose, he hyperlinks up the play and many others. Or is he on the lookout for a striker who’s enjoying the final man on the road. Always making an attempt to beat the offside lure, exploiting areas, working the channels. Always attacking the purpose and taking the defenders on relatively than simply being a hyperlink up man.

So as soon as now we have readability on what a coach expects from a participant, our job is to seek out the very best profile that matches the requirement. Not solely we assess the enjoying high quality of a participant but additionally how the participant will adapt to the Indian circumstances. We need to issue all this stuff into consideration as a result of making certain a participant is profitable on the pitch additionally has lots to do how he’s feeling off the pitch.

In phrases of recruiting at a youthful age, to be trustworthy, you may by no means get an ideal participant. We attempt to establish the traits within the participant that works finest in our system. Or relatively, we see if there is a potential to enhance. We see if the participant’s ability set will be taken to the subsequent stage.

Can you inform me concerning the new head coach Juan Ferrando? The story behind his hiring and his imaginative and prescient to take the membership ahead.

Juan Ferrando’s appointment was in works for the three and a half to 4 months. Even after we narrowed down the listing of candidates from 100 plus to final 4 or 5, we made it some extent to talk to them at least twice or thrice. And it was totally different ranges of dialog. First it was with me after which the homeowners had been concerned after which there have been folks within the recruitment staff speaking. It was for us to get to know the particular person as finest as potential and in addition for them to know what we try to attain right here.

Juan was anyone who purchased into the method of what we try to attain and who shared our imaginative and prescient. He is a coach who all the time tries to work with the youth, combine them into the primary staff and that could be a massive half of our imaginative and prescient as properly. Juan shopping for into that was a giant plus level. Juan can be anyone who identifies with our model of football. Promoting younger gamers was only one issue. We have a basis constructed for ourselves. In the final two-three seasons, now we have seen success with the primary staff and with the youth staff, so it is also about taking them to the subsequent stage. We felt Juan was anyone who might try this.

So, whenever you attempt to recruit international gamers and coaches, particularly from Europe, is it exhausting so that you can persuade them to return to India and play football?

ISL 2020 Quite excited at prospect of replacing key players says FC Goas director of football Ravi Puskur

‘If you see the profiles of the gamers who’re coming right here, it’s altering.’ Sportzpics

To be fully trustworthy, it’s altering fairly a bit. When we first began having international gamers on our shores, it was a bit like ‘we’re going to this unique league the place we do not understand how it will be’. They had the standard picture of how India goes to be like. Over the years, gamers have come and seen what India can provide in phrases of enjoying high quality, the way in which the gamers are handled and the footballing challenges. Now gamers from Spain’s Segunda Division are asking if there are engaging presents from India. It is a league that’s financially extra engaging in comparison with what they’re incomes in Spain and in addition they need to see what it’s like (enjoying in ISL) as a result of it is a street much less travelled.

If you see the profiles of the gamers who’re coming right here, it’s altering. When the ISL started, international gamers’ common age was round 34 or 35. Now the typical would’ve diminished by three-four years. So, it was tough at first however it has steadily improved. When we goal coaches, we attempt to herald anyone who’s younger, hungry and needs to show himself. Obviously Zico was a particularly excessive profile appointment. But ever since then, we tried a distinct development. We tried to deliver coaches who’re hungry to show but additionally have confirmed already up to now in phrases of outcomes and all the things. The course of is unquestionably getting simpler for positive.

What are the membership’s ambitions for the upcoming season? And is it a fear that a couple of key gamers won’t be current for the subsequent season?

The ambition has by no means modified for FC Goa as a membership. Over the previous six years, now we have confirmed that we’re probably the most constant staff within the ISL. We will proceed to do this within the subsequent season as properly. We are a staff that will probably be competing for the highest honours. That won’t ever change. The homeowners have all the time mentioned that FC Goa must be an admired membership however FC Goa must also be a successful membership. We have the AFC Champions League as properly so clearly we need to put up our greatest foot ahead given the truth that it is not simply Goan followers’ eyes however your complete nation will probably be watching.

In phrases of gamers leaving, we aren’t fearful. We are literally fairly excited at the prospect of replacing these gamers. When gamers like Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Coro and Lanza (Manuel Lanzarote) first got here in, they had been unknown. What have they performed since they got here to FC Goa? They turned family names. We truly relish that problem. While we’re a membership that desires to compete and spend adequately, we additionally imagine in getting the right worth for gamers that we deliver on board. We need to do good enterprise. We need to be a sustainable, economical membership the place we need to guarantee we aren’t spending past our means.

We are usually not fearful at all. Ultimately, for those who see the worldwide sample of footballing cycles, they have an inclination to final three to 4 seasons. Because typically, the concepts go stale or outcomes do not go in the best means. For one motive or the opposite, cycles are usually not lasting.

So the administration had anticipated that FC Goa should undergo a rebuilding course of this season?

See, what’s the one factor that by no means stops? Time. Time additionally means ageing of gamers, pondering of new concepts and many others. We had tough concepts. We know what will price us if we’re going to preserve sure gamers. We had the conversations. My work for season 2021-22 will begin the day I signed the final international participant this season. Immediately we’re eager about the longer term.

In an excellent situation, what we attempt to do is for each place, now we have three or 4 backups lined up in case anyone decides to go away or switch out and many others. That’s the one means you stay steady out there. It is by realizing what’s on the market, gathering as a lot data as potential to make sure that ought to something occur, it would not come as a shock to us.

With the entry of City Football Group, homeowners of Mumbai City FC, the monetary energy equation has come into image. With higher budgets, groups can purchase high expertise. Do you assume it is a concern to your membership and typically to the level-playing area within the league?

It’s not a priority as such as a result of the switch market may be very fluid. Yes, economics do play a giant consider phrases of participant actions and all. But, now we have to look at it this manner: what’s the stage of the league, what we have to do to achieve the league and the way we are able to establish the best gamers. Yes, you may get high quality gamers by paying an enormous quantity of cash. How we’d need to cope with it’s by figuring out gamers with the same stage of efficiency with out spending as a lot cash as different groups are spending. We need to spend however we need to do it responsibly.

Sure, there are golf equipment with financially larger appetites however that is the truth now. We need to now adapt and see what works finest for us. We know the truth that exists and the way can we place ourselves within the league to stay aggressive. And it is easy. We need to develop our personal gamers. We need to develop our personal gamers to the purpose the place each time we’d like a substitute, I can look internally relatively than compete with the golf equipment out there and discover direct replacements.

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