National managers speaks out agains IMG-R Players
India Manager Wim Koevermans believes any player who plays for the National side should be attached to an I-League club, at least temporarily.
The focus of his attentions are players such as Centre back Nirmal Chettri and Syad Rahim Nabi, who rather than play for a club side, have elected to sign for IMG-R and take part in the new IPL Style tourament.
Nabi was not included in the squad to face Tajikistan on Wednesday due to lack of fitness.
As the IMG-R Tournament will not click into gear until the New Year, players contracted to them have had barely any pre season training.
Due to a dispute between the I-League clubs and IMG-R over the fact that new Tournament may possibly upstage the I-League, Indian clubs have point blank refused to sign any IMG-R players, thus exacerbating the fitness issues.
Speaking to The Times of India, Koevermans said: “I hope the players get attached with a club as soon as possible and play throughout the season to be considered for the national team.
“We had to leave some players out because of their lack of training time with their respective clubs. However, I can bring in everybody into the Preparatory Camp for the SAFF Championship.
“We will have enough training sessions to focus on them (Nabi, Paul etc). At the moment, almost everyone is practising hard and I only hope they maintain a decent level of fitness prior to joining the camp in Bangalore.”