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Raymond: Coaches ignore fitness issues

New Delhi: Dutch fitness coach Raymond Verheijen is not surprised that several top I-League coaches have skipped the three-day conditioning conference for football coaches, which concluded here on Thursday.

A legend in fitness coaching, Verheijen, 42, had trained the national teams of the Netherlands, Russia and South Korea in the World Cup.

For the last 10 years, he had been associated with FC Barcelona, Zenit St Petersburg, Chelsea and Manchester City.

A brilliant orator as well, Verheijen said senior coaches all over the world have a mindset when it comes to fitness programme.

“Nine out of 10 head coaches think they know everything. In most of the conferences like this, they send their assistants.

Strangely, Verheijen was happy with the attendance.

“I was happy that a good number of head coaches came for this seminar here,” said Verheijen while talking about coaches like Derek Pereira (Pune FC), Santosh Kashyap (ONGC) or Oscar Bruzon (Sporting Clube de Goa). No representative from Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Dempo or Churchill Brothers was present in the seminar.

Verheijen insisted that apart from tactical and technical area, the coaches should also have adequate knowledge about fitness training.

“I am not saying that teams should not have separate fitness trainers and coaches should take over their job.

“But fitness coaches should speak in football language. That would help the players to understand things better.

“For that I always maintain that head coaches should also have adequate knowledge about fitness training,” said the Dutch coach.

“The problem all over the world is that if a coach does quality training with his team for 75 minutes a day, the top bosses of the club or media might feel the coach is not doing enough.