By Soumo Ghosh,
AIFF Media Team
Kolkata, May 26, 2019: Football at the junior level is not always about the results. Sometimes, it’s also about the learning curve. That is exactly what 2018-19 Hero Junior League semifinalists Bengaluru FC have chalked out for their boys, who are fighting it out in Kolkata.
The side Bengaluru has had a perfect build-up to the semifinal so far, winning all of its Zonal and Final Round Group Stage matches. However, Head Coach Ajay Madhavrao Chorge believes that it is the strict philosophy that the club adheres to, that has carried them this far.
“If you look at our senior team, they have Spanish coaches, and always try to play the passing game. The players always try to keep the ball and move it around,” said Ajay. “That philosophy seeps down to the junior levels as well.”
Ajay, who sees Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as his idol, believes that the tiki-taka style of play that the Spaniard has implemented at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and at Manchester City, have helped the respective clubs a lot.
The Bengaluru FC junior side has benefited from being in a residential academy at the Inspire Institute of Sports in the Vidyanagar Township in Karnataka, where the players can work on both their fitness and their skills.
“Strength and conditioning are two key aspects of improving a football team. I can’t express in words how important this is, to actually implement the style of play that we want to achieve on the pitch,” said Ajay.
Bengaluru have had a smooth run-up to the semifinals so far, but Ajay believes that Dempo SC posed the greatest threat to them as of yet.
“It was a really difficult game against Dempo. Their style of play is very similar to ours. They tried to pass it around and create chances for their attackers. But we managed to get two early goals, which put us in good stead,” said Ajay.
At the end of the day, however, results are not of as big consequence for the Blues, who are looking at developing players as their primary objective.
“Results are good, but what we want to do is create a steady line of players coming through the ranks, much as they have in Africa of Europe,” Ajay signed off.