Gokulam Kerala head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese feels that the quality of the Indian players in the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League is quite similar. Annese said that he has been Playing close attention towards the ISL since he was appointed as the head coach back in August.
“I have watched a lot of games in the ISL and I don’t see much difference between the Indian players,” said Annese.
“It is the big-budget foreign players in the ISL that make a bit of a difference between the leagues,” added the former Belize national coach.
He is currently in a bio-bubble in Kolkata, where the I-League will be held, and Annese said that there are a lot of lessons to pick up from the ISL going on in Goa — in terms of injury management and squad rotation.
“I have been chatting with some of the technical staff of ISL teams. It is important to work on players’ fitness,” said Annese.
“We will be playing every 4-5 days, so it will be impossible for a player to play every game. We work with the GPS and our trainer Garcia. We have to create a competition in the side because five substitutions are available. It makes the job of coaches more interesting because sometimes they can even change the system during the game. I tell my players that it is not always about the system.”
The 36-year-old has a vast experience in coaching as he has worked in Latvia, Estonia, Ghana, Palestine, Indonesia and Armenia previously. He thinks that the I-League is going to be quite challenging for the players in terms of mental health as they will have to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.
“Psychology will influence a lot. Mental recovery is also going to be very important and that will prove to be the difference between teams.”
Annese knows that his team is being considered as one of the title-contenders now with the departure of two heavyweights like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal to the ISL. However, he believes that the league is quite unpredictable and anything can happen.