National head coach Lodewijk de Kruif wants his players fit as a fiddle before the SAFF Championship and looks forward to transform raise his players’ temperaments to that of international standard.
The Dutch coach arrived in the capital yesterday morning and rushed to his job in the afternoon. There, his assistant Rene Koster and physical trainer Mohammet Yamali conducted a two hour session at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Lodewijk de Kruif looked happy with the proceedings. “It was my first day and I was watching the fitness and shape of the players. I am very happy that physical trainer Yamali is here, when we took the team to Nepal to play a tournament (AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers). There were physical problem with the players. And what we think that the players’ body and mind both should be ready for playing international football with professionalism. That’s why I am very happy that the physical trainer is with the squad now. He had already five days with Rene to prepare the players and gave them the direction about what to expect from us,” said the Dutch head coach.
The head coach will now start the fine tuning. “From now on, we will work on the technical and tactical aspects. We have got 35 players - already one left for home - three injured - Linkon, returns on Sunday. Now it is the time to select the players. I will select 23 players sometime next week. With those 23 players, we will have a training camp in Thailand and hopefully, we will play two matches there and come back to continue the camp,” said de Kruif.
In the practice session, de Kruif was working on set pieces. “Set pieces are the most important angle of our attack. We won’t say it is negative or weakest thing. I want to communicate in very positive way and we have a lot of work ahead and we have to work hard and that’s our job,” said de Kruif.
The coach was glad to have seen his players over a period of time. “In the Super Cup we saw nine matches in five days that gave us a very good impression of the players and the quality of the players. That was very important because when we moved to Nepal, we didn’t have much information about the players. We just saw them for two days to take them to Nepal. Now we have a very good impression about the players and what is on the ground.”
The coach was wary about the altitudes of Nepal. “Last time in Nepal, the condition was tough due to altitude and this time we will go there earlier to adopt the conditions. I want to go a few days ahead this time to get adapted with the conditions,” de Kruif explained.