We are trying to build these players in the Liverpool way: David Rogers, DSK Shivajians Head Coach

David Rogers and Michel R.

David Rogers and Michel R. are the main men at the Liverpool International Academy in Loni, Pune and their boys are making headlines for all the good reasons as they lead the table of the Maharashtra Qualifying Zone in the U-19 I-League this season.

The ‘Men from Merseyside’ saw their side knock three past PIFA Colaba at Cooperage in a 3-0 victory, as we took the opportunity to speak with the very focused at the same time very pleasant David Rogers and Michael R.
The duo has taken great efforts to carve out the DSK Shivajians outfit, which have had a cracking debut so far. A humble Michael R. gave credit to his players and complimented their hard work for their success so far. “It’s all down to training and training hard and the boys work really hard and fortunately for us the results are showing, but we need to continue with the good work as there is a long way ahead.”

Despite their team having strolled through the group so far, David Rogers believes there is a good level of competition for his side and it’s tough to win games. “The League is really competitive. Teams are trying to play football, just like us as we try to get the ball down and play. It’s tough as these players haven’t been together for too long. But the level is really good and the clubs are trying to do all the right things”.

The management team is already looking forward to the next stages. The duo is planning to watch a few more teams play in the other groups, to ensure that they do not leave anything behind in terms of preparation.

“We have watched the teams in this group and me and Michael plan to watch some more from the other groups too. We are very happy with the challenge our boys will face in due course. It’s going to be tough as all the teams are improving and it will improve even further as we progress”, said David Rogers.

DSK Shivajians have scored 19 goals in their five games so far this season, and that has been down to the high amount of possession that the DSK Shivajians hold. Building up from the back, patience added to good technical skill has resulted in the men from Pune build a brand of football of their own in this competition.
Miachael R. spoke about bringing the training methods and techniques used at Liverpool at DSK. “We are trying to bring the philosophy back home an implement it here. The coaching aspects and the training methods are being implemented as they are at Liverpool and it’s paying off. We are working hard on our passing game, working hard to build from the back. We are trying to gel this team and get them talking and hard work pays off”.

David Rogers stressed upon Michael R’s thoughts and highlighted the importance of development of these players. “We are trying to implement the right ways as we do in our academy in Liverpool. But we don’t want to put them under any kind of pressure. We want them to develop and learn the right way and the kids are responding to it. It’s very important to have an atmosphere where they enjoy themselves which will help them develop in the right way, the Liverpool way and they are doing that. So we are very satisfied with what we are seeing”.

David Rogers thinks his side has exceeded expectations of many, but he believes in his team’s ability.

“We may have exceeded expectation here, but we know what our kids are capable of. They are a great bunch, a humble bunch and brilliant for me and Michael to work with. Every day on the training pitch, we are trying to develop them and they are responding really well”.

Moving on from footballing pitch, the Men from Merseyside have loved life in India. Be it food or the locals, everything here has left David Rogers in ample awe. “The life here is fantastic. I love the country. The people here are really nice, very friendly and always ready to help you out with anything. I love the food anyways, so that has helped”.

Michael R. who has been here much before David arrived has similar things to share when it comes to country. “It’s brilliant, this place. The people are lovely and the facility back at DSK is absolutely fantastic and makes you feel at home”.

It has to be said that David Rogers and Michael R. have done a wonderful job at DSK. Their side is not just racking up the goals and points, but a lot of fans with their brilliant football which this country’s junior level has been crying out for.

DSK Shivajians are certainly a breath of fresh air in Indian Football at the moment and we hope to see them more often on the Indian Footballing scenario.

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