Indian football lacks sports scientists: Constantine

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) India football coach Stephen Constantine stated on Tuesday a sports scientist is more important than a fitness trainer, which the country presently lacks.

“In order to get to the level that he has attained requires hard work and dedication and the highest of qualifications in his field. A sports scientist is much more than a fitness coach; and while we do have fitness coaches in India there are not too many sports scientists around,” Constantine was quoted as saying by the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) website.

Speaking about the role of a sport scientist, the coach said, “Apart from the physical aspects, Danny is also responsible for diet, individual programmes, periodisation programmes, strength and conditioning as well as monitoring player’s progress on and off the pitch. It so happens that we have acquired somebody who is young, energetic and willing to do anything to help our national teams.”

It is one of the prime reasons that Constantine advised AIFF to hire sports scientist Danny Deigan.

“Danny Deigan, one of my other support staff is a sports scientist who has worked in the National Institute for Sports in Australia which is renowned for their discipline, commitment and excellence in the field of sports science,” he said.

The coach said that training the Under-19 team well with good coaching and support staff would help the young guns step up to the U-23s and the senior national team.

“I felt that if Danny, Rogerio Ramos (India goalkeeping coach) and Lee Johnson (assistant of Constantine and head of Under-19 team) worked with the U-19s, it would prepare them better for the eventual step up to the U-23s and hopefully senior national teams.”

“There needs to be continuity both in philosophy, training and game play. This can only be achieved by having people who are familiar with the process from top to bottom. What the U-19s do would be a mirror image of what they do with the senior team. This makes the step up of junior players to the senior team that much quicker,” he said.

India, ranked 156th in global standings, play 41st positioned Iran in a 2018 World Cup qualifier match in Bengaluru on September 8. India have already lost the first two matches of its 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

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