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'IMG-R league could be best thing to happen in Indian football'

Last updated on: August 05, 2013 19:14 IST

'IMG-R league could be best thing to happen in Indian football'

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Laxmi Negi

To Indian football aficionados, Trevor Morgan is a coach. To the IPL-style IMG-Reliance league, however, the Perth-based Englishman is a fitness trainer.

The former East Bengal coach has been contracted by IMG-Reliance to train players that could be part of the league for a month. The deal should put an end to speculation over the fitness of the national team players who are also part of this new venture.

India coach Wim Koevermans was sweating over the lack of match fitness of his players who have opted for the lucrative IMG-R league. Now the Dutchman will not lose sleep over it, as Morgan will address his concern.

 “It’s not my team and I won’t be teaching them anything. I just need to help the players to get match fitness level,” says Morgan.


Image: Trevor Morgan
Photographs: AIFF Media

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He threw his weight behind the new league, saying, “The plans that IMG have are fantastic… the people they want to try to bring in and to spread the game right across India.”

He added that it will provide football fans across the country “to get a chance to see players we only saw on television”.

Following a face-off between IMG-Reliance and I-League clubs, it is the players who are bearing the brunt.

Koevermans expressed concern last month saying, “Some players who have signed with IMG are not in pre-season training and it is a big threat to the national players. I am afraid I might have to leave some good players out who could not train well before the friendly against Tajikistan in Khujand on August 14.”

Rightfully, the national team will be without some key players, as Koevermans has not included goalkeeper Subrata Paul and mercurial medio Syed Rahim Nabi for the upcoming friendly.


Image: Wim Koevermans
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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Morgan says though he will work on the stamina and how to avoid injury, the players of national team should also be doing their own routine.

He reminded that one cannot run down the IMG-Reliance league before it has started.

“The IPL” he says, “took Indian cricket to a different level. If IMG can help football half of what it the IPL did to cricket it will be the best thing for Indian football.”

He asked its detractors to give the IMG-R league a chance, adding, “It (IMG) could be the best thing that could happen to Indian football; or maybe not. Who knows, only time will tell. But give it a chance.”


Image: IMG-Reliance players
Photographs: Courtesy IMG-Reliance

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