Pune: Making his debut in Pro Kabaddi League, Arjuna awardee coach Ashan Kumar is all determined and excited to start his coaching stint with Puneri Paltan in Season 6, which will commence on October 19.
Although league is five months away, coach Ashan has already started planning about what team combination would be required to make a challenge for the Season 6 title.
“I am happy with the four players which are retained by Puneri Paltan. We have two raiders in Rajesh Mondal and GB More, all-rounder Sandeep Narwal and defender Girish Ernak. All these players are retained because they are masters in their playing positions,” Ashan told Sakal Times in an exclusive interview.
“In the auctions our main focus will be on picking up players which would make a right combination with our retained players so that we can have strong bonding in the team,” said Ashan who will very much be part of the auction process on May 30-31.
“Choosing right player to play in right position will make team stronger. It will be on the mind of every franchisee when they sit at auctions,” explained Ashan.
Ashan is, however, new to the league as he has so far followed the game from outside.
“I was coaching Iran and was also busy with other coaching assignments during the previous seasons. I was aware about the all the happenings in PKL and I am happy that I will be part of the League.”
Coming into the league with the vast experience of coaching stints with Iran, Haryana, Services and Nashik Army Sports Unit, Ashan feels adapting situation during the match is key to achieve wins.
“The biggest challenge for the player is to adapt the match situation. Understanding the situation and playing accordingly becomes important in crunch situations.
“Many times we have ‘Time Out’ where we can explain a player about what his next move should be.
“Sometimes player has to make decision on his own. As a coach during practice session we will teach players about all these things which are very important,” said Ashan.
Most of the players in Pune camp will be new for Ashan as he has not coached all personally but he knows flamboyant Sandeep Narwal, who will be vital cog in Pune’s squad.
“Sandeep is best when it comes to fitness. He is one of the fittest kabaddi player in India at the moment. As an all rounder he will be an asset to our team.
“Sandeep’s skills will be very useful for us in every match he plays. I have seen him closely during my coaching stint with Haryana. He is a very good talent and certainly an asset for the team,” Ashan added.
Strategy of the team will only be decided once we have full team in place. At the moment my focus is on picking good players in the coming Players’ Auction.
— Ashan Kumar
(Puneri Paltan coach)
Know the coach
- Name: Ashan Kumar
- Played as a player: 1985-1994
- Notable performances: Member of team which won gold medal in 1990 Asian Games, SAF Games and Asian Championships.
- Coaching stints: Indian team in 1998 Asian Games, Services, Haryana, Army team and Iran (2 years).