Fitness is key for DD side

| | New Delhi

With the upcoming season 5 of Pro Kabaddi scheduled to run for three months and to contain 138 matches, the workload on players is bound to increase. In view of this, the Delhi Dabang team's management is focusing their attention on players fitness ahead of the tournamkent.  The coach of the team Dr Ramesh Bhendigiri emphasized the primacy of fitness in his team's preparations.

"Due to the presence of 12 teams, the tournament has expanded and that's why all teams are focusing on fitness. We are also devoting more time to make our team fitter. In the last 10-12 days we have been working to improve in that regard and only from next week will we start working on our skills and tactics. All players in my team are fit and this time we will perform well."

The coach along with some of the most prominent players of Delhi Dabang team had gathered at Connaught Place in the national capital to participate in the annual 'Raahgiri' event where they interacted with fans and Kabaddi enthusiasts.

On being asked whether he has the required support staff for the purpose of improving player's fitness, Dr Bhendigiri expressed immense satisfaction. "We have an assistant coach, physio and nutritionist as the management has planned everything very well. There is no lack of support for the players."

One of the star players in the team, Nilesh Shinde, echoed his coach's views on the necessity of keeping fitness at the optimum level.

"With so many matches to be played, our fitness level needs to be very high, that's why our coach has decided to have a majority of young players in the squad. These youngsters are fitter and so will complement the experience of senior players and help us perform well."

Bhendigiri, who holds a PhD in Kabaddi from Poona University, was also full of confidence about his team's prospects in the upcoming season and didn't feel their past performances would matter.

"Delhi Dabang's performance in the last season wasn't bad but they suffered due to tactical mistakes in the last few minutes of the matches but this season I am confident that our team would perform magic as we have players like Nilesh Shinde, Bajirao Hodage and Rajiv Baliyan in our side."

He also claimed that his side is not lacking in any department.  "Our side is equally good in both raiding and defence aspects. I would say that our defence is the strongest among all teams."

On the question of whether players would be rotated to give them rest during the season, Bhendigiri, who coached Thailand's women's team to Asian Games silver medal in 2010, replied in the affirmative. "It has to be done. The age and fitness of senior players is different from that of the younger players. Also we need to assess these younger players. So it would almost be compulsory for us to rotate our players and give rest to players from time to time otherwise there could be injuries." 



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