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FC Pune City ropes in experienced technical staff members

Matt Radcliffe has been at major clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool

Matt Radcliffe has been at major clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool

The first edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) definitely made a lot of promises for the burgeoning football scene in India. The ISL did not just provide a healthy platform for the Indian players to groom themselves alongside international standards but also offered the Indian audiences the tint of glamour which they longed for a long time now.

With the likes of Del Piero and Nicolas Anelka joining in, there was ample in the inaugural edition to raise the level of expectations for the second edition. The game, however, is not just about the players who join in the league or the celebs who own the teams. In fact to a greater extent it is also a lot about the technical staff including coaches who join in.

After all, the Indian Super League will only be considered a landmark in the Indian football history if we see its reflection on the national team of the country. If experts are to be believed, or rather common sense, good coaching and proper grooming is something that Indian football has always been devoid off.

Off late, things have improved a lot with investment having being done for the backdoor staff of the team, particularly nutritionist. The importance psychiatrist is something that has been realized lately but haven’t been explored fully as of yet. 

Teams have strengthened in the second season

The second edition of the ISL in this regards seems to be benchmark event with franchisees investing equally in for coaching and support staff. The bomb obviously came in from the capital with Delhi Dynamos FC roping in legendary Brazilian and Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos as their manager.

North East United FC, on the other hand, added some South American flavour to their team by appointing former Venezuelan football manager César Farías as their Head Coach. As the level of competition has increased and so has the bar of expectations, teams now have slowly started to invest equally on technical and support staff.

The initial strive here was definitely been taken by FC Pune City. The Hrithik Roshan owned club recently hired Niall Clarke as their Sports Science Specialist while Matt Radcliff was appointed as the injury prevention specialist. 

Clarke was the former Head of Medicine and Sports Science at Crawley Town FC and at the University of Greenwich. He later joined in Manchester City in the year 2009 as a senior lecturer and sports science consultant. After four years with Manchester City, he moved in with West Ham United as the Head of sport science strength and conditioning and medicine. 

Matt Radcliff, on the other hand, has previously worked as a physio for over 16 years with professional athletes. His first football job came at Port Vale. After three and a half years at Vale Park, Matt joined Crewe and stayed four years at Gresty Road. He was appointed Preston physio in February 2008 and later joined Southampton in 2010. Last season Radcliff was with Premier League giants Manchester United as their Injury prevention specialist. 

It’s good to see that finally along with international level stars we have international standard technical and support staff making their way into India. Investment on players obviously has a great impact in uplifting the level of the game in India, but investing in coaching and the technical staff seems to have a larger and permanent impact on the players. FC Pune City in that regards have done a great investment and it’s benefits will clearly be seen in the longer run.

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