Find playing style that suits your players: Dennerby advises Indian coaches

Indian U-17 women’s football team head coach Thomas Dennerby believes it is very important for the coaches to first understand the attributes of players and then accordingly devise the playing style.

Speaking to coaches across India at the ongoing international virtual coaching conference organised by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the highly-experienced Swedish tactician on Wednesday said: “When I arrived in India in October 2019, we had a goal — success at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. People would ask what style my team would play even before I had met the players. However, when you arrive to work with a new team, you try to get an overview of the various things you need to know, such as the tactical, technical, fitness and mental aspects.”

“Then, you try to find a way that suits the team best. You have to find your own playing style and vision. Football is like philosophy, there is no wrong or right. One has to try to improve the way you want the team to play while seeing what is best for the players,” he added while speaking on the topic ‘Current playing style of the U-17 World Cup team’.

Talking about the style he has adopted for the current team that is preparing for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, the 61-year-old termed it as a ‘technical’ style which makes use of the players’ ‘extreme speed’.

“We decided to have a style that is more like the Asian style — a technical style and passing game. We have players with extreme speed and we need to work with the passing and quick touches. Getting the ball out from defence fast, we can be quick on counter-attacks that we can use when opponents are unorganized. We have created a lot of opportunities that way, especially when we played against Romania and won one match as well,” Dennerby said.

“Without the ball, our style is zonal defence. We play as a close compact team with short distances between players so that we can work together and try to win the ball quick and high,” he added.