Football is a process, not a product - Prayag United's new coach Eelco Schattorie

The 40-year old coach spoke of his recent appointment as coach of Prayag United and the approach that he will be following....
The football scenario in India has a very distinct Dutch flavour to it. The appointment of Dutchman Eelco Schattorie as Prayag United coach has brought with it a wave of optimism and criticism alike. The Dutchman replaces Sanjoy Sen at the helm of the Kolkata club despite the club sitting just three points adrift of defending champions Dempo SC. Schattorie joins his countrymen Wim Koevermans and Rob Baan who have been part of Indian football for a while in the capacity of national team coach and the technical director respectively.

"I am happy to take up the challenge for being the new coach of Prayag United and do all in my ability to bring the Championship to Prayag," said Eelco. "It’s going to be a big task and I will need all the support from the club and supporters to make this a successful journey. So I hope to get the time to make this team a winning team and show good performance," he added.

Given India's recent obsession with the short-passing style of play that Barcelona have perfected, Schattorie hopes to implement the same with his new team. The coach realised that tiki-taka football is still at a fledgling stage of implementation in India.

"Please don't expect this team to play like Barcelona just because I like their style. Just as how you can't make a mini Cooper run like a Ferrari, similarly you can't make Lalkamal Bhowmick into an Iniesta. A system is sacrosanct. It's success depends exclusively on quality of players. But with my football philosophy, there are possibilities that can make the players smarter and give them more options on the field. There are things that can be adapted from such a style that make you a better player," said the coach.

But the Dutchman sent out a clear warning to his squad that he will not select his team based on reputation. "I will take my time to settle down and then decide who are my best 11 players and not the 11 best players. I won't look at name or age. I'll make it my own team," said Schattorie in his first interaction with the press.

Schattorie replaces Sanjoy Sen as Prayag United's coach

The 40-year old will be aware of the gravity of the task ahead of him from turning a mid-table team into title contenders. Prayag United have spent close to 16 crore rupees in the transfer market on new players bringing in the likes of Ranti Martins, Subrata Paul and Carlos Hernandez.

"Football is a process, not a product. Not even Jose Mourinho could win the championship with the best players at Real Madrid in his first season," said Schattorie.

Speaking on his appointment at Prayag United, Eelco Schatorie’s FIFA Licensed agent Arvind Narayan of Libero Sports said, "Eelco brings a wealth of experience having worked with some big name Dutch coaches and clubs in the past. Given time and patience, I am positive he can implement the same systems here in India."

Nabab Bhattacharya, Director of United SC also shared his thoughts on the appointment. "I had gone through so many CVs but selected Eelco after several interviews. I am excited about his style of play and the methodology he wants to implement as I have the players to match his curriculum, and we certainly hope to win the championship with him in charge."

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