Rest allows us extra time to improve: Thomas Dennerby

KOLKATA: India's U-17 women's team was forming well for FIFA World Cup under head coach Thomas Dennerby before the Covid-19 pandemic stopped.

The Swedish coach, who has since returned home on a special flight, spoke on the postponement of the World Cup , how the break might affect the players and other aspects.


Are you happy to be with your family in these difficult times?

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The human psyche will point out that everyone wants to be at home with their loved ones at any time of crisis. I am happy to be home in Sweden with my family.

It's important to be closer to your family during difficult times. The situation in Sweden is pretty normal, that is if at all you can speak about normalcy during these times. I'm in my country-house with my wife, and we are almost alone in this area. I'm fine, we all are feeling fine. Please convey my message to the people of India to stay safe.


How did you react to the postponement of the FIFA WC for women under 17?

Under current circumstances, for me it was pretty natural that FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup was going to be postponed. We'll wait for the new dates. I know the AIFF is working in close association with FIFA to choose a new and earliest possible timeline to host the event, keeping health and safety a priority. When you talk about a football tournament and compare it parallel to loss of human lives and current global situation, it's understandable that it had to get postponed.

Do you feel that this pause in training will affect your preparations?

I don't see the break that affects our preparations. The girls were doing well and the overall team was developing in many areas. It was very satisfying progress from the coach's point of view. We have provided the girls with an intensive training program that they are following.

They are also updating me and my staff on a regular basis. It has allowed us to measure where they are standing. We would have been ready by November in any case. But with the match postponed, it allows us some extra time to improve.


Will there be any fitness problems after the team reconvenes?

Fitness levels will not be a concern at all. As I mentioned, all the girls have been provided with individual coaching and training programs. Don't miss the word 'individual' as the programs are tailor-made.

Of course, it is difficult for them to work with the ball, since they would stay inside. But that does not prevent them from working on other basic aspects and techniques. I can assure you that when we meet at the camp, physically the girls will be the same as when they returned.