Kerala Blasters FC’s reserve team head coach Tomasz Tchorz wants his players to make the most of the experience of playing against top-quality youth teams from the Premier League at the Next Gen Cup but also wants them to be competitive during the games.

The Blasters who narrowly finished runners-up to Bengaluru FC in the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) to qualify for the tournament in the UK are keen to not just show their quality but also cause a few upsets against higher-quality opposition.

Tchorz also hailed the senior players in the team like Jeakson Singh who have accompanied the team for the Next Gen Cup for leading by example.

Kerala Blasters FC face Tottenham Hotspur in the opening encounter on Wednesday and head coach Tchorz caught up with for an exclusive interview ahead of the Next Gen Cup.

Here are the excerpts:

How prepared are you for the Next Gen Cup? What do you remember about the last match against Bengaluru FC? It was full of fight and maybe a little altercation?

Our preparation is going well. Players came back from holidays so we started from the beginning of the month. We cannot wait to go there and represent India as a football team.

Coming back to the game against Bengaluru FC, it was a good game, a competitive game and I think this kind of environment is part of football and I Liked and I'm happy that game happened because it would have told the young players what happens in professional football not on the field but also out of the field as to be ready with a proper mindset.

Football is not just about skills but also mind games and they have to take care of what happened before, the results we got and how to adjust the strategy of the game to where we are right now. So I feel it was very productive for a youngsters' competition. It was also a good level of football as I'd say both teams were the best in the league and we played with quality, so I was very happy to be there.

Have the senior players been guiding the juniors about making a mark in the UK but also asking them at the same time to stay calm as some of them have played in the Hero ISL before?

What I can see from the sessions and also from the residency where we live is that our senior team players are very responsible but still young players and that's why they are able to go with us to this tournament and participate with us in the Developmental league. Hence they deserve to go with us.

They are leading by example and they are showing us that they have learnt from the foreign players and other players in the first team and this is a very positive aspect of them being here because they transmit how to be a professional footballer and how to be in this environment and also how the players should behave not only on the field but also off it in terms of the health, the nutrition, the preparation and the recovery.

I can see that our younger players are following their example because at the end of the session they are doing individual work in the same way.

This is a good way to educate, teach and grow younger players faster. We have to have an example of players who have come from the top and it's happening at KBFC right now.

In competitions like the Next Gen Cup, how important is the experience over results because you are going to be playing teams of higher quality? So how are you approaching it?

In football, regardless of the opponent you always want to win because you adjust your strategy and your tactics to the quality of the opponents and to the competition that the opponent provides. So, we are going there with a mentality that we aren't just going there for a trip or as a tourist but we want to compete.

If we compete with teams that are really of huge quality, then we will that if it's not possible at this moment due to some obstacles or limits that we have in our team, in our performance then we will understand the situation  We are not going there and taking any results for granted and with the mentality that we have to do something.

We also want to see how football is played in Europe, how the facilities are and how they do the work, how they organise the game and how they organise the training process, so the experience is most important. The fact that we can take players out of India to show them a different world, different culture. For us, it's the most valuable experience and it will help to grow our players after returning.

But if there's a possibility to compete and achieve something, we will definitely go for it and will look for it.

How helpful have the knowledge-sharing sessions with the Premier League academy teams been for you?

I liked these sessions a lot. They were about different topics but all of them were really valuable. For me, it was a possibility to learn how English teams work and to verify what is similar and what are differences between my work and our coaching staff.

I think it's interesting to meet these kinds of people from time to time because we as coaches if we are motivated and we learn a lot we have a lot of ideas and the more ideas you have, the less organised they are in your mind. Sometimes you finish with broad knowledge but then you don't know which of the information you have to choose and if you meet people that are more experienced than you at work at a higher level of football than then you can understand how to decide which are important parts of the training process and how to organise better with the most important elements of your training sessions. So, for me, it was amazing.