‘We want to give our best players the platform to reach greater heights’

Coach Shameel speaks about Hyderabad FC’s 2021 Durand Cup campaign

The youthful Hyderabad FC side under Shameel Chembakath put in some impressive performances in the 130th edition of the Durand Cup. But the youngsters fell to back-to-back losses to end the campaign in 3rd place in Group D.

Though falling just short of qualifying for the knockout stages, the quality of the side was on show in each of the three group games. Coach Shameel sat down with us to discuss his side’s Durand Cup campaign in full…

On the 2021 Durand Cup…

I am privileged to be a part of this tournament. The atmosphere created here is very impressive. Even as a coach, I had a great experience just working and training with the players. The thing I liked the most was the level of competition among the teams in the tournament.

We would like to thank the Durand Cup organizers for bringing together a pool of talented footballers from across the country. Young players are now getting an opportunity to and a platform to play with quality players and learn from them and I believe this tournament will produce some superstars in the future.

On the young squad’s performances…

I think the team is now matured. The players clearly understand their roles and responsibilities in the squad and I would like to appreciate the teamwork they showed against some tough opponents.

I hope that they can improve on their performances and work on their weaknesses on the sidelines and I like to believe that they have a bright future ahead of them.

On the vision at HFC…

The challenge with young teams is to push your team to new heights and give them the experience and exposure they deserve. We have to push them to do better and design a system to maximize their potential.

When you have quality players, it is important that we nurture their talents and help them progress through our pathway into the senior side.

On the learnings…

As a team, I like to believe that we have evolved for the better. Our goal is to work in a way where we can give our best players the platform to reach greater heights.

We have to constantly work hard to make our team more productive and efficient. But what you see is what you get and there is still a long way to go for this young squad.

Message for the fans…

We can’t thank the Hyderabad FC fans enough for their support, which has been amazing. The recent results are not easy to accept but our fans made sure to stand with us making it all a bit easier to digest.

They are one of the major reasons for where we are today. So a big thank you to everyone for their appreciation and words of comfort and hope we have the same support for the youngsters, as it means a lot to all of us.

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