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Fitness worries for Armando

New Delhi: With only five days to go before the Indian pre-World Cup squad leaves for Maldives to play a preparatory tie, national coach Armando Colaco is deeply concerned over the fitness of some the players.

“The fitness of a few boys has become a matter of concern for me,” Colaco told The Telegraph on Saturday. According to the coach, who has been recommended for Dronacharya award, the under-23 players are fitter than their senior counterparts.

“The two-week break for the national campers after the I-League created the whole problem,” said the coach. “Once they returned home, very few took care of their physical fitness. Even during off season, you need to maintain a routine to be in shape,” Colaco said.

The coach felt striker Sunil Chetri is one footballer who is yet to reach full fitness. “He is a wonderful player and my first choice as a forward. But I cannot call him fully fit at the moment. However, we are working hard to get the best out of him,” said the coach.

Two other players Steven Dias and Baljit Sahni also figure in Colaco’s list of players who need to improve their fitness. .

Meanwhile, the names of Sunil Chetri, Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence, Subrata Paul, S. Venkatesh and Jo Paul Ancheri have been recommended for Arjuna Award this year. Shabbir Ali’s name is also among the list of nominees for lifetime achievement award.

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