| East Bengal’s new physical trainer Kevin Jackson during a session with his wards at the club ground Sunday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: Kevin Jackson’s Day I treat for East Bengal footballers Sunday comprised “basically of running”. The club’s new physical trainer, from South Africa, put the boys through several forms of this manner of physical workout at the East Bengal ground.
Running. That is the simple truth. It may not be anything rather novel for India defender Mahesh Gawli, but for most of the 13 others at the training session Sunday, they got a fair idea of what lies in store for them in the whole of this month. “This is just the beginning and a single day is not enough to assess the players’ conditions,” Jackson told reporters after a 45-minute training session.
His just concentrated on making the players run across the ground on the first day, in an apparent bid to test their stamina and endurance. But the fallout was hardly to miss one’s notice. The players were often falling behind in keeping up the pace. One player suffered a brief spell of illness, with the searing sun worsening the conditions.
Subhashish Roy Chowdhury was also present at the ground, but did not attend practice. Early this morning he was involved in a road accident, and escaped with minor injuries. He has been advised two days’ rest.
Gawli later said he has been “inured to such practice under India coach Stephen Constantine” while for Debjit Ghosh, “it was a much-needed effort at domestic level”.
Later coach Subhas Bhowmick made it clear that those players failing to get Jackson’s fitness certificate, will miss out on the ASEAN Cup, starting next month.
East Bengal are also planning to play a few friendlies in Singapore and Thailand before the $50,000 first prize tournament in Jakarta.
From Monday the East Bengal players move to the five star Hyatt and will undergo training at the SAI Eastern Region and the Salt Lake Stadium throughout this month. Bhowmick said the practice session could be three-pronged, with the first two to be taken care of the Bloemfontein-based Jackson and the other by the coach himself.