The former Pune FC coach picked up the coach of the year award and thanked the players for voting for him...
Having guided an unfancied Pune FC side to a second place finish, the Goan coach was amongst the favourites to win the coach of the year honour at the Football Players Association of India’s (FPAI) Indian football awards. It didn’t surprise many that he did win eventually.
“It’s a pleasure to get my first major honour as a coach. It means a lot to me since it’s the players who vote. You are appreciated for your work. Although we didn’t win any trophy but thanks to the players at Pune FC who put up a splendid show and to achieve the second position in the league that has put pressure on the players to vote for me. I am glad that you are appreciated for your hard work,” He told Goal.
Never before in their short history in the I-League have the Red Lizards finished as runners-up and Derrick credited his players and staff for making it possible.
“I don’t look at the budget (of the team) or the stars (in my team). I just look at the players to motivate them to put up the best show. I was very happy to finish off well. Most of the players were fit till the end of the season and played good committed football. That gives me a lot of satisfaction,” he explained.
The 50 year old has gone back to his old stomping ground at Salgaocar FC after four seasons with Pune FC. He pointed that the key will be to adapt as he outlined his plans for The Greens.
“The major challenge is to understand the players and the players need to understand me. Of course, it takes time to build up. So our first priority is to look for the right combination and build the team. We also have to promote the youngsters at the club. They have a good youth development programme in place. We have to take a look at that. Along with the I-League team, we have to push the youngsters as well to do well,” he stated.
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