Pune: The three-month long season and 138 matches have not only increased the workload of players but also the coaching staff has started feeling the heat of the current situation.
“Every 18 players need to be fit for the full season. If any important player gets injured in the middle of the tournament, then we should be able to replace him quickly,” said BC Ramesh in an exclusive interview with Sakal Times.
BC Ramesh has joined Puneri Paltan team for the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 5, which starts on July 28 in Hyderabad.
Puneri Paltan was coached by Ashok Shinde in the Season 3 and 4. Now he will be seen in the role of mentor.
BC Ramesh was the coach of the Bengal Warriors in the Season 2 after which he took a break of two seasons before coming back to Season 5.
Pune is a completely reshuffled outfit for Season 5. In the last two season, they were known as best raiding team but this year, the franchise has put the onus on all-rounders to sustain the balance of the team.
“We have 3 all rounders — Deepak Hooda, Sandeep Narwal and Dharamaraj Cheralathan and also the presence of a player like Rajesh Mondal (raiders) and Girish Erank (defender) helps us to keep balance in the team.
“There are also other players like Ravi Kumar (defender right cover), Rinku Narwal (defender left corner), Vikas Khatri (defender right cover), Ajay (all-rounder) and other few who have shown great potential. We have at least two specialists for one position, which makes a very healthy team combination,” said Arjuna awardee coach BC Ramesh.
Role of Ashok Shinde
“Me and Ashok focus on every individual player’s fitness. It starts from noticing body movements and notifying it to our physical trainer about the players who need to work on what - speed, endurance and power.”
“During training, we observe players and work on their strong and weak points. As a coach, it becomes very important for us to know each and every player’s physical strengths so strategies can be made accordingly.”
“I am the head coach of the team, but I always take suggestions from Ashok, Deepak, and Dharamraj, and if they feel something needs to be done in another way, then I quickly adopt their suggestions,” said BC Ramesh.
Plan for other teams
Season 5 will see 12 teams fighting out on the mat with the teams divided into two groups of 6 each and will be playing inter-zone and intra-zone matches before making it to qualifiers.
“Every team has 3 to 4 strong players according to which we have to plan our strategy. We will study every team before every match.”
“ We have couple of players from Bangladesh and Japan — Ziaur Rahman and Takamitsu Kono. Ziaur is defender and Konu is allrounder both are working hard and if they keep showing good preformances in practice then they will also get a chance to play,” added BC Ramesh.