Arthur Papas, the coach of Pailan Arrows, was happy with the three points that his boys snatched against the Shillong Lajong at the Salt Lake stadium in a drab encounter this weekend. This win takes Pailan to 18 points from their 16 matches played.
The coach however was not satisfied with the football his team played. “The three points are always important. I will not claim that we have played a very good game today. But we dominated the game and these three points were deserved. In the last few matches, we had played well but were unable to bag three points. It’s great to win without so many first team players.”
Pailan missed the services of their highest scorer for the season, Holicharan Narzary due to suspension. The regular starters such as Shouvik Ghosh and Deepak Devrani were also missing due to injury worries. Papas hailed the performance of their replacements and said, “Some boys got the chance to peek into the first team action. Simranjit Singh made his first appearance today. Len (Seiminlen Doungel) was also good. He is a young guy and I hope he gets the reward for all his hard work.”
Pailan Arrows is the developmental side of All India Football Federation (AIFF) consisting only of Indian players under the age 23. Papas remarked it is very challenging to teach young guns.
“Yes, we are trying to develop. Last season Pailan had only 2 wins in the whole I-League campaign. This year we have already won 5 matches. The boys have been taught by different coaches for the last 10 years of their career. It is hard to change things overnight.”
He also conceded the fact that the Pailan players are somewhat shy in shooting from inside the box. “See, this is all about decision making. Once someone gets into the box, he can pass or shoot. Now these things can’t be taught suddenly. It’s entirely up to the player.”
The Aussie coach also lamented the fact that other good teams can take help of foreign players and hence are reaping the awards.
“Churchill Brothers are now at top of the league table. But if you look at it closely, you will find that the foreigners have scored 32 goals for them. I am devoid of these opportunities. I guess I also could have done wonders if I had a foreign player in my squad. It is easy to replace players when you have many options available. But it becomes hard for me,” he said.
The 32-year old was pleased that his players applied his instructions against Lajong and they did benefit from it.
“I am working on things like lack of finishing. Today Prabir (Das) managed an excellent finish. The delivery from Len was also great. Yesterday, I was telling them in practice that it is not always important to smash a ball. One can get better results by placing it in the right place. I am happy with the way that was implemented today. Even he was telling me that he had done it right. I hope that we will improve with time,” he elaborated.
Pailan will now face United Sikkim in a home match next weekend. A win in that fixture may take them back into the top half of the standings.
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