Exclusive: A first hand talk with the youngest coach with league champion medal
After his phenomenal first season success at his coaching career with LAXMI THREE STAR CLUB, Pradip Humagain, is scouring new heights of for Nepalese coaching history. His work ethic and man-management is second to none, that's why he has been successful to mould a great team-work and winning attitude among the once frail Three Star CLub. His first season success may be hard to swallow for many, but he's up for the doubters to prove that he's no one season wonder. Nepalifootball.com team got one on one with the youngest ever coach so far to win the league title. We are very much thankful that he gave his time to sit down and share his time with us.
Nepalifootball.com: Let's start with your footballing career. How was your professional football career?
Pradip Humagain: My football career isn't long. I played for six months with Kathmandu Club and was a part of the Khukhuri Cup back then. Also, I had trained with RCT but never been able to play with the club.
Nepalifootball.com Could you please tell us about your coaching journey?
Pradip Humagain: I started my coaching career from KU's Women's Team. We had went to Norway to participate in a tournament and it went very well. After, that Three Star offered me a chance to undertake the club, when, then coach Megh Raj KC resigned during the NCELL Cup.
Nepalifootball.com: Have you undertook any coaching courses or license?
Pradip Humagain: ANFA coaching course. And, I have plans to get the FIFA license courses as well.
Nepalifootball.com How do you summarise the league performance?
Pradip Humagain: My team performed exceedingly well considering we have had a bad start to the season. Everbody worked hard and the League Title was ours.
Nepalifootball.com Your Super League's performance was not good to that of the League round.
Pradip Humagain: Yes, my team was little distracted by the Knockout tournament and the international break. But, luck was on our side as our bad result weren't cashed by the other teams below us. As a result we were able to win the league.
Nepalifootball.com How is the preparation for AFC President's Cup going on?
Pradip Humagain: It is going on well. We are training twice daily, both physical and tactical. We played friendly match against Nepal U-16 team last friday which we won 3-1. Overall I think our preparation is fine. But so far I am unable to train all the players at the same time due to various problems.
Nepalifootball.com Are you satisfied with your current team?
Pradip Humagain: Yes, I am quite satisfied. Almost all player's contract has been negotiated and renewed. We have recruited new players as well. We have cover in all position. We have only 2 international in our squad as AFC President's Cup doesn't allow us to have more than two international players.
Nepalifootball.com That mean's your team is now complete?
Pradip Humagain: Yes, the team is complete. We have already got 21 new players in our fold for the new season. As a result we have strong reliable team capable of competing against any team. As mentioned previously, I am still unable to train all 21 players at the same time which I want to conduct sooner than later.
Nepalifootball.com: How are you taking the match against Mohan Bagan?
Pradip Humagain: Mohan Bagan is one of the strongest team in India. The result against Bagan will show us our actual calibre against international opponent. I am looking through Bagan's some I-league matches so that I have proper knowledge of its players and tactics. I believe we will have result in our side.
Nepalifootball.com And now, what do you think about your AFC President's Cup opponents?
Pradip Humagain: Yes, we have Abahani Limited from Bangladesh, Taiwan Power Company from Taiwan and Echrin from Mongolia. I feel that we all team have same level. If we play to our full potential than I believe that we are capable of beating all 3 opponents. But I think the match against Abahani Limited will show us where we can go as it's our first match and also they are Bangladesh's strong team for quite sometime. If we can garner all 3 points against them then we can easily qualify for the next round.
Nepalifootball.com How is the fitness level of your squad?
Pradip Humagain: Almost all players are fit. We are currently conducting physical training one session daily.
Nepalifootball.com What about injuries?
Pradip Humagain: Santosh Sahukhala has injured his hand and his hand is plastered. We are discussing with doctor when can we remove the plaster. Biraj Maharjan was also injured but he is already free from it. He is improving his fitness. There are no other major problems.
Nepalifootball.com How strong is your players other than the ones in your starting line-up? I mean the ones who are in bench.
Pradip Humagain: First of all I want to inform you that we do not have any so called fixed starting XI. I have seen and closely observed the players in training and feel that every players in our fold has equal chances of making it to the playing XI. You can see it for yourself that we do not have strong XI players but all 21 players of equal calibre. Overall we have strong indepth squad.
Nepalifootball.com: How is your current contract with the club?
Pradip Humagain: Hmm. I took over Three STar Club for the A division league only. But as we have very good result it got extended to this AFC President's Cup. I will only be able to tell where it will go from there after AFC President's Cup is over.
Nepalifootball.com: Do you have anything to say to Nepali Football fans?
Pradip Humagain: Even though it's Three Star Club taking part in the tournament, but it's a matter of national pride as well. Therefore I know that all Nepalese football supporters will be behind us and supporting us. I still remember 1 year back going and supporting NPC even though I was not a NPC supporter. I know everyone present there that day were supporting it for Nepal. This year I will not only be a supporter but leading a team in the same tournament from different role. This year there will also be a lot of supporters other than regular Three Star Club supporters to support us. We will do our best in the field and satisfy our supporters by making it to the next final round.