Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar, who took up coaching for the first time this year, has said that although the season didn’t go according to the plan, it was a learning experience for him. Pune played their last match against UP and lost to end the season with only seven wins in 22 matches.
It seemed like this match is going to be a one-sided affair as by the half time as Pune had been already cleaned out twice. Neither their defence clicked nor the raiding unit was having much luck. However, after halftime, they were able to turn the game around. Despite their best efforts, they failed to win and ended by losing with a scoreline of 39-43. This was Anup Kumar's first season as a coach and unlike his friend Rakesh Kumar, he was unable to extract the best of his players.
“The season hasn’t gone according to plan, but it has been a huge learning experience for me, personally. The players made mistakes, but I've also made mistakes as a coach. I will take what I've learned in stride and prepare better next season,” Anup Kumar said when asked about his experience as a coach in the post-match press conference.
Pune saw an emergence of a young player Manjeet under Anup’s wings, he scored eight points in the last game and was the top scorer of his team in the whole season with 123 raid points in 22 matches. There are many new players coming into Kabaddi but the charm of the ‘Dubki King’ hasn’t ended yet. He also played his last match of the season yesterday and scored a scintillating 34 points.
“He is not known as the 'Record-Breaker' for nothing. At this point, he is creating the records and breaking them himself. The way he started today, I felt he was going to break the 39-point record and reclaim his throne. But he got tackled a few times midway and had to sit out for an extended duration and that probably stopped him from scoring 40,” Anup said while appreciating Pardeep’s performance.
“Playoffs are completely situational. You can plan for a game, but odds are that it goes in another direction. So whichever team plays well on the day will win. You have to be able to react to situations in the playoffs.”