Day one of I-League runners-up Pune FC‘s pre-season training was about returns and reunions at the club ahead of the 2013-14 season. With smiles and handshakes doing rounds, PFC began their pre-season training with a workout session at the Gold’s Gym, Aundh.While the angst to meet new Coach Mike Snoei was evident from the enquiries made by several players, the fact was – the coach was absent. Reason: a sudden family matter that needed attention and led to a trip back to the Netherlands. Once home, Snoei ensured he sent back a detailed schedule of the sessions to be followed until his return. Snoei is expected to join the squad on Thursday, July 18.
In Snoei’s absence orders were carried out by Pune FC physical conditioning trainer, Sridhar Krishnamurthy and physiotherapist Tariq Shaikh. The primary objective was to get the squad, who came after enjoying a 40-day break, into groove slowly and systematically.
The session started at 11 am and began with a cardio and stabilization schedule before moving on to basic conditioning exercises. The session lasted 90 minutes as the squad went through the paces.
Physio Tariq, who oversaw the session, mentioned, “As this was our first training session, our focus was on light warm-up. It is necessary to get back into the groove after a long break. Coach Mike Snoei has given us a schedule to follow for four days.”
He further added, “We also enquired with players about any niggles they carried so that we can focus on it.”
Sridhar explained, “We did body analysis of the players. This week will be a light training routine and we will gradually increase load thereafter.”
Among the near-total turn out, new recruits – Pune-based Prakash Thorat and Goa’s Anthony D’Souza were present and so was Dhanapal Ganesan, who returns after a season long loan at Pailan Arrows. Joining them were twelve retained players, five newly-promoted players from the Peninsula Pune FC Academy’s first batch and a few trialists.
The notable absentee was Pune FC Player of The Year 2012-13 Anas Edathodika. The Kerala defender has not yet touched base in Pune as he is down with jaundice. Similarly, Anas’s co-defender Othallo Tabia, who reported on July 12, developed fever and needed hospitalization.
On the other hand, Peninsula Pune Football Club Academy (PPFCA) graduate Lalrempuia was also conspicuous in absence as he is away in the AIFF Elite Academy preparing with the Indian Under-19 squad.