New manager Humagain eyes win in Bangladesh friendlyThe former Three Star boss says he got the coaching role earlier than he expected.
Newly appointed Nepal national team acting coach Pradip Humagain said that he would start on-field training from Friday to prepare the team for an international friendly against Bangladesh scheduled for September 27 in Kathmandu.
“We had theoretical training today [Thursday], the practical training will begin from tomorrow,” said Humagain during a media briefing at ANFA headquarters in Satdobato.
Humagain has already called 40 players for the friendly including 10 senior players expelled by Kuwaiti coach Abdullah Almutairi, who is currently on holiday, owing to a dispute over accommodation facilities. “I am not in the place to talk about (those) players,” said Humagain regarding their exclusion by Almutairi.
“My concentration is on preparing the team for the Bangladesh friendly. We will not take the game just as friendly but do our best to win the game,” said the former Three Star coach who obtained American citizenship a couple of years ago.
“I thank All Nepal Football Association for entrusting me with crucial responsibility of the national team,” said the AFC ‘A’ licence holder who became the surprise choice of the newly elected ANFA executive committee to look over the team against the likes of many senior and experienced coaches.
“Getting the national team coaching job was a bit surprising for me as it came earlier than my expectations. However, I was already ready for the position,” said Humagain who was sacked by Lalitpur City FC in the Nepal Super League last year after four matches following a run of poor results.
“I don’t know why ANFA chose me. I have huge respect for the other coaches of the country. They have huge potential. I request them to visit the training and share their knowledge so that we can come up with some innovative ideas,” he said. “I felt that Nepali football is at a difficult juncture now and accepted the coaching role as soon as I was offered.”
Humagain also said that the role at the national team was a natural journey as a coach rather than a challenge. “It’s a journey and a process of life. I have neither taken it as a challenge nor do I feel pressure,” he added. “Now I will focus on reducing the team from a group of 40 players very soon. Though it seems that we have plenty of preparation time for the game, the fact is that there was no domestic football for a long time.”
Humagain also said that he would start a new culture of welcoming fans on the training ground every Wednesday from September. “We want the fans and all stakeholders to encourage the team,” Humagain said, adding that goalkeeping coach Binod Dangol and assistant coach Yugal Kishor Rai were nominated for the post as per his advice to the football governing body.
Regarding recalling more than half a dozen of Nepali international players, who flew to Australia in the past couple of months for better opportunities, Humagain said that he had talked with them directly or indirectly. “I don’t think they are in the situation to return back to Nepal anytime soon,” he said.