Antonio Iriondo's first press conference as Jamshedpur FC's head coach

Jamshedpur FC have signed Antonio Iriondo as their head coach for the 2019-20 season. He held his first press conference after the appointment became official. Here are some excerpts from his first interaction with the media:

On signing for Jamshedpur FC and an opportunity to coach in India...

“Good afternoon everybody. Thank you for joining us. Thank you also to Jamshedpur FC and Tata Steel for appointing me as head coach and having the confidence to bring me to India. For me it was inspiring to be called from Spain to take this opportunity and to come to India, the land of big people such as Gandhi, who’ve had great success and done great things for the entire world. I know that I’ve come to India to train a very good team. In my very short visit here, I recognised the big efforts and the great job that the Tata company have made for the community from the grassroots to their sports program.

For me, it was surprising at the same time, discovering that Tata is participating as a company in not just football but recently in all other sports in the country. I am enthusiastic to be part of this big organisation that promotes sport and entertains people in this society.

On the football facilities of Jamshedpur FC and Tata Football Academy...

“Since the moment Jamshedpur FC approached me, I’ve been following the team, watching the games and the players, knowing the structure, discovering more about the club and about Indian football. I was very close to joining a Spanish team in the first division, but Jamshedpur FC convinced me to come to India.

I’ve been very impressed by the club’s structure – all the facilities, the resources available to Jamshedpur FC, not just by Indian standards, but by any standards in football. A lot of clubs even in Spain don’t have these kinds of facilities.

I would like to remark that this was a great first moment in India. They welcomed me and the way I was received was very warm. I was taken around to the Jamshedpur FC Training Facility and Accommodations, the JRD Tata Sports Complex and the Tata Football Academy. I was very impressed with the charm of the people and this only encourages me to do my job even better and to deliver the best football and the best results that I can.

On the players in the squad...

I have known Tiri for a long time, because he was playing in the Spanish lower divisions before, he came to India. I’ve started following Memo since he came to Jamshedpur.

Both players (Memo and Tiri) are good players. Good players are easy to adapt to every new system or every new coach in India. One of the main principles or philosophies that I like to bring to every team is, the team must have the ball.  The players and the team that have possession of the ball enjoy playing football. Players enjoy playing football. The moment the players enjoy playing football it’s very easy. The results can come but the players stay as a team.

I haven’t had the chance yet to meet the Indian players. But I know we’ve made a lot of improvements in the squad for the season.

On the style of play he looks to implement...

The players have to work throughout the game. Let them be free through the game. They can be creative, quick, express themselves on the pitch. I don’t want to limit any player. They shouldn’t be scared to be creative, to be themselves. It’s going to be easy for them to enjoy, to play football in the right way. When you look at players and telling them what they have to do, the game gets limited.

On what he wants to achieve next season with Jamshedpur FC

In regards to football, the main purpose I came here for is to try and get to the top position and get as many points and most of all to send a message that we play the kind of football people like to watch. And it's very important that the players enjoy playing the football. If the players don’t enjoy their football it becomes very difficult for the crowd to enjoy during the game and to be supportive during a game. This is one of the main pillars of the game and this is a model I’ve been following for 30 years ago. 

It is very important to succeed in the first few games. If we lose points in the first few games, it will be very difficult to make the play-offs. We’ll try to get the players in good shape from the first game to be able to compete and win more points.

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