Blasters coach Vicuna urges young players to grab their opportunities with both hands
Ahead of the much-awaited opening game of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21, Kerala Blasters FC Head Coach Kibu Vicuna urged his young players to prove their worth in order to cement a place in the starting XI. Vicuna takes charge of his first game in the Hero ISL against debutant ATK Mohun Bagan and the 48-year-old head coach spoke about their opponents for the curtain-raiser during the club’s pre-match media interaction on Thursday.
“The players that take advantages of the chances they get are going to play. We have some good young players and we also have good players with experience. We are trying to create a great balance. As I said before, for me age is not the most important but we have young players with potential. They have to improve and grow daily to be better. The objective always is to be better today than yesterday,” said Vicuna ahead of his side’s match on Friday.
ATK Mohun Bagan will be making their Hero ISL debut this season but the club has roped in star players like Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri as well as the players from ATK FC’s league-winning side. Sharing his thoughts on the squad assembled by his compatriot Antonio Lopez Habas, Vicuna said, “ATK Mohun Bagan have a very similar team to last season. They have a very good team and have signed very good players this season.”
Taking about his own squad, Vicuna said: “…Of course, we are happy with the team we have. We are doing well and the coaching staff is also happy with the team. Yes, we are a new team, but we are going to do our best for the upcoming match.”
Vicuna was joined by one of his foreign recruits Costa Nhamoinesu at the media interaction. When asked about what attracted him to the club, Costa said, “When I got to know about the ambition of Kerala Blasters [in regard to] what they want to achieve, I realized that this is a place that could feed my hunger, my fire to compete for something tangible. Also, the fact that I have worked with the coach in the past has made things easier.”
The defender made it clear that he was averse to looking too far ahead into the season. “I always want to do things step by step. For example, now we are talking about the game tomorrow, and all the focus is on tomorrow. I’m not thinking about how the season is going to end or how the other games will be.
“Our focus is just on the next game. We'll be working on training and we will try to implement what we've been doing. So for me, a good achievement will be to win the next game,” said Costa.