With the entire squad now finally in Goa and with the season premiere only a few weeks away, Jamshedpur FC is firing up its pre-season training sessions.
From new and powerful additions to the squad to retaining players from last season, the transfer window created quite the stir in the world of football. The goalkeeping squad especially saw a massive change with the signing of Pawan Kumar and Rehenesh TP. With a good record under their belt, they both are ready to up the game for the club this season.
Here are the excerpts from the media interview with Pawan and Rehenesh where they talk about quarantine, preseason training, friendlies, and more:
On the preseason training sessions, the Goan weather conditions and how it will affect matchdays
Pawan: Practice sessions are going really well. It feels good to return to the pitch. The weather conditions are playing a crucial role as well in our sessions. Of course, it’s tough to practice under the sultry weather, but we usually start around 9 am so it isn’t that difficult to train under the sun. Besides, all the matches are going to kick-off at 7.30 pm once the season begins, so I believe it will be alright.
On how limited stadiums will affect the gameplay this season
Pawan: It shouldn’t affect the game that much. In fact, it will be the same for every club. Last season, we played our Away matches on various new surfaces and that used to unravel a lot of surprises for us. However, this season the conditions won’t change a lot because of the circumstances so it should be fine.
On how the limited training time and recovery time will affect the season
Pawan: The amount of time you train always makes a difference because the more you train, the better. We were hoping that the season premiere would be pushed by a few more days so we would get some more time to practice, but that’s out of the picture now so we will do everything in our power to give our best in whatever training time we have left.
On how the adjustment period has been given so many new additions to the squad
Pawan: It was slightly tough during the initial days but not as daunting as one might think. Everyone had to go through their quarantine period so we had nothing but time on our hands which can be a little unsettling. But slowly and steadily, we are starting to learn about each other and grow together as a team, now that one by one everyone is joining the training ground.
On how it feels to be a part of Jamshedpur FC
Pawan: Oh I am super excited to join the team, there is no doubt about it!
On how it feels to be missing the joy of playing in front of the home crowd
Pawan: It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to experience the pure passion of Jamshedpur FC fans this time around. I’ll miss their presence a lot because nothing beats the thrill of playing in front of your home crowd. But, given the circumstances, it’s important to be safe and healthy first and foremost.
On the level of safety measures being taken
Pawan: We are following strict protocols. We are wearing our masks wherever we are going, following all the hygiene protocols and we are not allowed to step out of the bio-bubble.
On how the quarantine time was spent
Rehenesh: It was tough because there is so much free time on our hands and we are not used to being confined in one room, not doing anything. But, it’s part of the process to keep everyone safe so it had to be done. I ended up spending a lot of time sitting with my laptop, playing games, watching series, etc.
On what’s the target for this season
Rehenesh: The club has had tough luck last season, but we are all working hard and pushing ourselves to qualify for the playoffs and bring a much-needed respite to the club and the fans. Once that is achieved, I believe everything else will eventually fall into place.
On how tough it will be to fill the shoes of Subrata Paul
Rehenesh: Honestly, there is no comparison. Paul Da has and always will be a legend in India and all over Asia. He is one of the finest goalkeepers to have existed. At the end of the day, both Pawan and I will give our all to ensure that Paul Da’s absence isn’t felt that way. Obviously, with expectations comes pressure and that is something each one of us, including every other club, will be experiencing it but we will give our 100% to make sure we live up to those expectations.