Sunil Chettri, the world’s second-best goalscorer among active players, heaped praise on the newly-appointed national head coach Igor Stimac saying his experience will benefit the talented young players as well as the current crop of players and help take Indian football forward. After a long wait, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday appointed Croatian legend Igor Stimac as the new head coach of the Indian men’s football team, which was without a head coach since January this year.
“He is a coach who brings a lot of experience to the table and I’m really looking forward to working with him. There are a lot of talented youngsters coming through the ranks for the national team and his experience would benefit us all,” Chettri told Goal.com.
Igor Stimac led the Croatian national team to the 2014 World Cup qualifying play-offs. He was also a part of Croatian national team that finished third in 1998 World Cup. As a coach he led Croatian club HNK Hajduk Split to league glory in 2004/05 season.
Chettri feels that it is up to Indian players to take advantage of Stimac’s experience and players are eager to play under him.
“His experience speaks for itself and it is upon us to take advantage of it. He’s been on the biggest stage of them all and knows what it takes to keep improving. Of course, India will be a completely different ball game as compared to the teams and players he has managed, but we are all keen to keep moving ahead,” India’s top goalscorer said.
Reflecting on AIFF’s decision, Chettri said, “The Federation (AIFF) has appointed the coach with the view that we, as country, keep progressing. That’s the Federation’s aim, our aim as players and even the aim of the new coach. We will give this an almighty push and let’s see where it takes us.”
Last month, AIFF had appointed former Arsene Wenger assistant Doru Isac as the new technical director of the ndian Football team.