IOT FC Head Coach Yash Shah: Mumbai Premier League promotion feels euphoric and relieving

Yash Shah India on Track Mumbai Premier League

India On Track FC Head Coach Yash Shah in an exclusive interview shares his insights on promotion to the Mumbai Premier League, management support and overcoming challenges faced in the season.

Over the past four years, IOT FC has embarked on an extraordinary journey, securing four consecutive promotions within the MFA’s football pyramid. This remarkable rise reflects not only their talent on the field but also their unwavering commitment to long-term success.

Maintaining an unbeaten streak over the past two seasons, IOT FC has established themselves as a formidable force in MFA. Their recent accomplishment as runners-up in the Mumbai Super League further solidifies their status as a rising powerhouse within the MFA. This notable achievement has earned them a well-deserved promotion to the Mumbai Premier League for the upcoming 2024-25 season.

Speaking with Footballcounter, India On Track FC Head Coach Yash Shah delved into the joy of winning promotion to Mumbai Premier League, Support of Management and challenges faced during the season.

Excerpts from the Interview:

1. Congratulations on finishing as runners-up in the MFA Super League! How does it feel to achieve such a remarkable feat with IOT FC?

Yash: Thanks a lot. It feels both euphoria and relief to get promoted for the Mumbai Premier League given how difficult it was to achieve it. Also we wanted to win the competition but nevertheless I am satisfied.

2. What were the key factors behind IOT FC’s success in the MFA Super League this season?

Yash: Alignment of the management, coaching staff, and players all in one direction was crucial. The recruitment of players throughout the season played a significant role. Eventually, the commitment of all stakeholders involved was extremely important. Meticulous preparation for each match, including attention to multiple details, along with a fluid tactical plan, was vital in achieving optimum results in each game. All of these factors together led to our long-term success.

3. Can you share some insights into the team’s preparation and strategy, throughout the league campaign?

Yash: It was crucial to gauge the collective strengths and weaknesses of my team early on. After that, I developed a tactical system with 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 variations to maximize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Each training session was meticulously planned to build a clear strategy for handling various types of team press at different lengths of the field. We also worked on maintaining a defensive shape against various opponents, and managing both transitions. While we had a clear style of play, we were also practical in adjusting to weather conditions and opponents, which I believe was extremely important in achieving the desired results in each game.

4. What were the biggest challenges that IOT FC faced during the season, and how did the team overcome them?

Yash: Keeping the players for such a long duration of the league was the biggest challenge, especially since a few important players had come from out of town. Some scheduling issues also posed a challenge for us. Ensuring that players thoroughly understood the tactical system was not easy. Keeping players motivated and injury-free was difficult as the season dragged on. Handling the pressure was tough for both the coaching staff and the players, especially with the pre-season goal of achieving promotion.

5. Looking back at the season, are there any standout moments or matches that you consider particularly memorable?

Yash: It is difficult to name a few. Getting victories early in the group stage against big teams like Mumbai Soccer Prodigies (MSP) and United Villagers was critical as a bad result would have proved fatal in the long run. Against MSP, the entire team adjusted to the rainy conditions very well and gave a gritty performance despite going 1 man down. Against United Villagers, the individual brilliance of our forward PC Anurag was crucial. Not losing against Mumbai City FC and Tarun Sporting were also strategically important results for us in the group stage.

Mumbai Premier League India on Track Yash Shah

In Playoffs, the entire team showed character to come from goals down and win 3 games in a row proving that IOT deserved to qualify. Our wingback Leisemba was an important player for us along with many other players in those games. Getting a point against Mumbai City FC in the last game despite playing 10 men and eventually 9 men showed the character and spirit of IOT staying unbeaten for the entire campaign

6. How do you plan to build on this success and continue to strengthen IOT FC in the future?

Yash: We take all the positives of this season. I am fortunate to have a club with a professional football culture which has players’ welfare at forefront along with competence at its core. I take this forward to achieve similar results in the future. 

7. What are your aspirations and goals for IOT FC in the Mumbai Premier League next season?

Yash: We look to make a competitive squad again and achieve similar results that we have achieved in the last 2 seasons.

Also Read: MH ORANJE FC U-17 Trials for the Upcoming Season

Also ReadFootball School of India announce trials for Young Talents

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