RF Development League helped in preparing young players for pressures of the senior team: Bengaluru FC’s Naushad Moosa
Bengaluru FC reserve team head coach Naushad Moosa whose team recently got crowned champions in the inaugural Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) feels that the tournament is a gateway for the emerging players for getting into the senior teams and thus plying their trade in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).
Bengaluru FC had to avoid defeat against Kerala Blasters FC to clinch the crown, and over 90 minutes at the Benaulim Ground in Goa, the Blues managed to hold their rivals who finished with 16 points from their seven games. Bengaluru FC ended their campaign as the only unbeaten side in the RFDL with 19 points, thus clinching the coveted trophy.
RFDL Media Team interviewed the championship-winning head coach Naushad Moosa who spoke about a memorable season for his team, the impact of the league and more.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What was the primary objective that Bengaluru FC had as a team going into the Reliance Foundation Development League?
After the Hero ISL, I was given the team, for this RF Development League. I was straight on point with the boys that we are not going for vacation out there. We are going there and we have to be the champions. That's it. Because it's very important for them to understand they are the young players who are looking for opportunities to get into the senior team and a platform like RFDL provides such opportunities. And when you're getting into the senior team you need to have that winning mentality and you need to understand the kind of pressure which goes in, in the senior team.
I was just trying to do that from day one to give that needed pressure for them to understand how to deal with those pressures whether we are training or we are preparing for a game. So it was very important for them to understand how we approach in the training and how we approach the game.
.@bengalurufc Reserve Team Head Coach @NaushadMoosa9 talks about his approach to the #RFDevelopentLeague, his interaction with the squad, the Next Gen Cup and much more! 😎— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) May 29, 2022
Watch the full interview, ICYMI 👉 https://t.co/iezolhqiDP#LetsPlay #NaushadMoosa #BengaluruFC pic.twitter.com/zlzX0ZazNL
What are the tweaks that you make in your individual approach between the senior team and the reserve team?
The approach I have with the reserve team boys and the senior team boys is different. When they make it to the senior team, my approach towards them is totally different, and then when I'm with them with the reserve squad, I'm a bit aggressive out there because I always ask these reserve team boys to take some ideas from players like Parag, Bhutia, Roshan who's come in now. Because when you get into a senior team it is totally different.
The pressure is not only about the game, the pressure is all about how the foreigners are dealing because when they are there, they want to win every game. The coaches there want to win every game. So the pressure is totally different and this is the place where I make them understand how important it is to handle the pressure. So, my approach towards the reserve team is totally different because I see that I give them that added pressure so when they get into the senior team, it becomes easy for them.
What was your overall experience of participating in the RFDL? From an infrastructural point of view and professionalism point of view, how was the league conducted for you?
It was organised really well. It was very professional. The timings were maintained perfectly, the buses, everything, the transport, everything was really professional. When you speak about water, all small details were taken care of, ice, so we had no complaints about it. I'm sure most of the teams, they experienced that, and even the boys, they get the idea of how well it was organised and how we have to behave in a professional league. Overall, it was a great experience for the boys.
How much of a motivation was the NextGen Cup for you and for the players as well?
Of course, the NextGen Cup was important, but as I keep telling them. We go match by match. When we won the first two games, that's when I started talking about the NextGen Cup, that's when I started reminding them, now this is our target. Being the champion, or coming in the top two, and then when we are in the top two, the NextGen Cup is there for us. So somewhere the boys were motivated when they heard about traveling to the UK and playing against good opponents. That was an added thing for them to perform well.
Did you feel that as an Indian coach, you also had something at stake?
Of course, it becomes very important for us to deliver because, if you see, most of the coaches who are there are foreigners and we are seen as assistant coaches out there. With our experience, what we can deliver at this level, you know, it becomes very important for us to have, I mean to show how we can make a team play. And I proved myself. It's not that I am the best coach, but yes, every day we learn a lot.
Watch full video interview below: