'Great cultural experience for foreign players', say visiting team coaches in PL Next Gen Cup
Premier League coaches opened up on the diverse cultures and life experiences that the visiting players will be acquainted to during their visit to Mumbai for the Reliance Foundation presents Premier League Next Generation Cup. Most of the players are touring India for the first time and their coaches are encouraging them to embrace the different intricacies of the city and the country in the coming couple of weeks.
“I will be 45 this year. I have never been to this part of the world. It’s an incredible place with wonderful people, very kind, very caring,” Wolverhampton Wanderers FC head coach James Collins exclaimed after his team’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Everton FC at the Reliance Corporate Park (RCP) on Thursday. Collins explained that such experiences are instrumental in shaping the personalities of players at a very critical stage of their professional careers.
“The boys need to see things as these are the things that open your eyes to life in other parts of the world and these boys get it easy at times. They get treated as superstars. They are not superstars. At some point, they will have to go out and face the real world so these are good cultural experiences for them,” he said.
Everton FC coach Kieran Driscoll hailed this as an excellent opportunity for young players explore a different style of living but still give their best even against oppositions that they haven’t faced so far.
“I think for our boys this is a very big opportunity that they are happy for. I think for everybody this is the first opportunity to come to this country, a real good one to develop and explore a different culture. We want to be as strong and do well as can possibly do, play to the very best of our abilities. We play some teams that we are used to playing against at home and some are obviously from the local area so it should be a really good and diverse experience for our boys,” Driscoll said.
Stellenbosch FC head coach Evangelos Vellios echoed similar views as he is relishing the visit to Mumbai whilst seeing this tournament as an opportunity to prove their mettle to both Indian and Premier League clubs. Stellenbosch are the defending champions and they kicked off their run this season with a fine 1-0 victory over Bengaluru FC on Thursday.
“It’s awesome to be here. What a great opportunity and privilege it is to be here at Mumbai, India. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to come out here, to showcase our talent here, to India, to the Premier League and to make our people proud back home. We are relishing the opportunity,” Vellios quipped.