Here Is What PKL Defending Champions Team Manager Says

Dabang Delhi KC is the defending champion of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League season nine. Currently the season is ongoing in Bengaluru city. Delhi has won all four matches they have played so far.

Team Khel Kabaddi had an exclusive conversation with Dabang Delhi KC Team manager Chimpu Matta. He gave his insights on ongoing PKL season, Delhi’s performance, training, team atmosphere & much more.

Questions and answers were as follows:

1) Dabang Delhi team has won all the matches so far. What are your thoughts on this?

Ans: If you look at our squad, we have many NYP players. We were discovering & training them for years. Also Coach has faith in the team that it is a very balanced team in terms of offense and defense. Team has handled the pressure very well. They’ve that inner strength that they’ll conquer & bounce back stronger & win the game. We have Manjeet, who is supporting Naveen very well. Raiding has never been a problem to us. Our bench strength is also stronger. All players are mentally composed. We’re not just physically fit but mentally fit also.

2) As a team manager what are your duties?

Ans: As a team manager I facilitate the entire team not just players but support staff as well. I also take care of sponsorship, marketing, operations, branding. Everything is under my purview. With the players I’ve to meet their training needs, nutrition. Because their health and fitness is of utmost important. About training I discuss with the coach about when & where will be the training. This is on day to day basis. My major role is facilitation with the players.

3) Who decides the starting seven? Do you take into consideration player’s performance evaluation for that?

Ans: It depends upon with team we’re playing against. Like if it’s defense heavy team, raiding heavy team, whether the corners are strong we’ll go for . It’s all about the strategy. Then coach decides the starting seven. As the game progresses we make the call about what will work and what will not.

4) How you do pre season training and ongoing season training?

Ans: It is up-to the mark. We have two training sessions. First is normal strength and endurance. Second is daily mat practice which is skill bases training. We give enough rest to the players if there are matches on alternate days.

5) How the team management motivates player’s if their performances are not up-to the mark or team is not doing well?

Ans: If you see we have Ashu Malik who did not play well last year. But he has that passion for the game, they want to improve skills and strength. So they learn from mistakes, practice and perform better. We focus on individual performance. We have head coach & assistant coach for handling the players who aren’t playing well. We work on them till they’re giving their optimum performance. Coaches are like friends to the players.

6) If you see few players like Pawan Sehrawat of Tamil Thalaivas, Rajnish of Telugu Titans have been injured badly, so how do you guys are keeping players away from injuries? What precautions are you taking?

Ans: If you observe closely we’re one of those teams which has the lowest amount of injuries. In pre season camp we push players to the peak up-to mark in terms for fitness, health, nutrition so that they won’t suffer from injuries 80%. That’s why we had a long training camp of one and a half months.

7) Do you think Naveen has got captaincy pressure?

Ans: Naveen is a natural player. He’s made for Kabaddi. He has that passion & sense of game. We will see the best version of his captaincy as the season progresses. When he wasn’t scoring the points he sent Manjeet and Ashu for raids. So he’s doing different combinations also. As a captain he’s doing a brilliant job.

8) How is the team’s off the mat atmosphere? Relations between juniors and seniors?

Ans: There is no senior and junior thing
We all are equal. All are friendly. We all not just players but also the support staff have lunch and dinner together everyday. It’s like a family.

9) This season also Delhi did not get chance to play at home stadium. Are you missing your home leg?

Ans: We are missing our home that is Thyagaraj Stadium. But we can’t do anything about covid. We’ve to be there with government norms. We’re hoping that we’ll get to play at our home stadium in the next season.

10) Unlike the last season do you think the team is lacking experience?

Ans: I don’t think so. Because team is playing very well. The strategy is also working. Our players understand opponents game in first few minutes, then we implement our strategy and play accordingly. That is the reason we are slow in the initial part of the game, we will not expose our cards first. We would want to know the opponent strategy then we can counter the strategy.

11) Will Dabang Delhi team defend the title?

Ans: People had their doubts. On paper we were not stronger. But we have new talented players which are gaining experience and playing well. We will be able to defend the title. We will get the trophy home.