Nepal’s national football side is playing a friendly against Malaysia on Sunday. ANFA officials say that the team will face Malaysia’s senior squad in June only. The team, which recently got former Werder Bremen II player Koji Gyotoku as its coach, is in high spirits after winning the U-23 team won the Bangabandhu tournament in Bangladesh and SAG gold for football in India. Onlinekhabar talked to Maharjan about preparations for the match tomorrow.
The team is playing an international match for the first time under a new coach? How’s the preparations?
Our preparation has been excellent. The new coach has replaced our former coach Patrick Aussems. We have had the opportunity to train under him for two weeks. During the training, we have learnt a lot of basics from him.
The three previous coaches the national side had were all westerners. Now the coach is a Japanese. Did you find any difference in their approach to the game?
I believe that modern football is the same whether it’s in Japan, Europe, or the US. He’s not much different when it comes to the basics. But personally all the coaches we’ve had have are all different. They have their own style. Our technical director is also Japanese. He has been doing well.
What would be your strategy like against the Malaysian side?
Most of the players in our squad are fresh from the SAG and Bangabandhu wins. We will continue our performance. There are some new faces in the team. They are not really new though.
A few players who were instrumental in the wins are missing this time. Will this affect your performance?
Yes players like Ananta Tamang, Anjan Bista and Bimal Ghartimagar are not in the team at the moment. Anil Gurung and Rohit Chand are also not there.
But we have a team that’s full of youthful energy. All players have a winning mentality now. They are technically very sound. All they lack is experience, which they will gain in matches likes these. We can then build a good team for big tournaments.
What do you think is the team’s weakness?
In football these days, a good performance on one part of the field does not guarantee a win. We need an all-round performance. We need o improve in the midfield and defence. The coach also knows this.