In conversation sans coffee with Oscar Alva

Mr. Oscar Alva, the coach of the Kenkre team.

It was match day, and Mumbai FC had just tasted their first victory of the season, defeating Salgaocar 3-0 when we caught up with the the Mr. Oscar Alva, the coach of the Kenkre team.

Well, the young gaffer has a lot on his platter as he successfully handles the Under- 17, Under – 19 as well as the Elite division team and is preparing the club team for the forthcoming I- League 2nd division tournament.
So we spoke to him post match and his infectious smile put us at ease no coffee required to pick a conversation.. a Mumbai victory and all of us are up and running!

Mumbai won 3-0 today.. What are your thoughts on the game?
Yes, I think it was a very interesting match. Mumbai FC banked on all the chances that came their way. Salgaocar on the other hand, I felt were a bit defensive maybe because it’s an away match and they must have probably come in with the mentality to not concede many goals. Also, the pace of Salgaocar was slow as compared to their previous encounter.

The crowd turnout today was fantastic for Mumbai. How do you think the home crowd support impacts a team’s performance?
Well, the home crowd makes a great deal of difference. It’s very motivational as a coach to see a lot of people turn up for the matches and for the team and players as well, it boosts their morale to perform. It’s a bad thing for the opposition seeing so many numbers come up for such a big, high pressure match.

You were accompanied by quite a lot of your players for today’s game. What vision does Kenkre foresee in having its coaches and players watching Mumbai FC’s matches live at Cooperage?
All the players would like to be professionals some day so it gives them an insight as to what it takes to reach the highest levels of the game. As for the coaches, it gives us new ideas, when it comes to strategy, tactics and how the formations have worked out. On the whole it provides a good vision of the game, the pace at which it is played.

Kenkre will be playing in the I- League second division matches with 7 other team battling it out as well. What are your preparations for the same?
I- League will be a totally different experience; we’re looking to be well prepared for the same. We practice on a daily basis and right now its focusing more on setting out the tactics, strategies also we’re looking at many players whom we would like to include in the squad. Ultimately it all boils down to how we perform in the practice matches before the tournament starts.

As the coach of so many teams of the club.. how is the experience?
Well, as the head coach it’s a totally unique experience. Lots of decision making, motivation for the players, training which has to be planned in advanced as such. It’s an enriching experience on a personal level and shall carry it with me for the future.

We bid farewell on this positive note and wish the ever smiling and calm Oscar Alva all the very best in all of his succeeding endeavors.

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