Kibu Vicuna expresses his views on the importance of friendly matches and the development of the team and the players
Kerala Blasters have decided to play friendlies against the same teams the next day whom they play for the official games. With a short pre-season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic teams got relatively less time to prepare for the season. This has left the players short of match fitness and a worry for the teams as their key players have either not started in the first few games or they have got injured in the official games. The teams also did not get enough friendly matches to play and prepare their tactics for the season.
Pre-season plays an important role especially when it is a long official season. It helps the teams to assess their tactics and decide a possible pathway to do their best and get their hands at the coveted trophy. For the Indian players, it is even more important considering the fact that India is still growing in terms of football. Thus matches especially the friendly ones become important for the players to showcase their talent and secure a spot in the team. These also help them to assess their match fitness ahead of the official games.
Kibu Vicuna came to India last season and led Mohun Bagan to the I-League title. He was then appointed as the head coach of Kerala Blasters for the ongoing season of the ISL. While none of the teams could afford to go abroad for their pre-season due to the pandemic, Kibu Vicuna in an interview during the off-season had expressed his importance on the friendlies. He stated that it does not matter whether the pre-season is held abroad or in India. What’s important is that the players get together as soon as possible and get a good amount of friendly games to play ahead of the season.
Continuing with his thoughts on the importance of playing friendlies, Kerala Blasters due to a shorter pre-season have decided to play friendly games during the season. During the press conference ahead of their game against NorthEast United FC, IFTWC asked Kibu about this initiative. Here is what Kibu had to say:
“I think it is very important. When we knew that we were going to be here in Goa, the first thing I told the Sporting Director is that we need to play friendly games. I told him that after the official game, we would like to play against the same team the next day, doesn’t matter in whose training ground. Because we have 31 players and in the official game only a maximum of 16 can participate and it is important for the development of the players and the development of the team and it will help us improve tactically and individually.” – Kibu Concluded