“The Wolves” are all set for their “hunt” for gold at IIT Kanpur and Shaswat Mohanty presents an all-round analysis of the team. This is the third in the Inter-IIT series. Read along!
Note: The credits for the photographs in this article go to Narain Manoharan and the Sports Organizing Committee. We thank the media club for their support!
The football team that goes by the name “The Wolves” has had to overcome numerous injury worries this year and with the tight placement schedule for a majority of the team members, practices haven’t been as regular as the captain would’ve liked. However, with the discovery of a set piece taking gem, the team has a new scoring outlet and the team looks more confident than ever to win it for all the veterans who’ve given it their everything all throughout their institute life. This eclectic mix of extremely seasoned players along with the fresh batch of players promises to put on a show worth the money at Kanpur, with the entire team as hungry as ever to add the Inter IIT crown to their trophy cabinet.
The team comprises of the two goalkeepers, Shubham Ashta and Joel Sunil George, the defenders, Peter Gautam, Dhyanesh, Sethu Madhavan and Devraj Babei, the long line of midfield, Abhijeet Shenoi, Parikshit Goenka, Ameya Panse, Mubeen, Adithya Rangamani, Jithin Raghavan and Saswat Mishra, and the front three, Tushar Goel, Shivam Munshi and Avanish Nihale.
The training regime was intense but it could not have the desired impact at the start of the semester. Regularity and punctuality were the two big issues that the team had to tackle this year. Coercing people into turning up on time is the general consensus of the team. The senior lot believes that there was a lot more that could be have been done but the continuity of the practices were hampered by injuries that sidelined a majority of the first team players for the majority of the semester. Given that eight out of the sixteen players are in their final year, the placement season also played a big hand in disrupting the continuity of practice sessions. However, the team has coalesced into a single working unit over the past few sessions and things could go only uphill from here in terms of practice.
The bonding of the team members plays a crucial role in big team events because not only does it improve the communication between them but it also facilitates the sharing of experience that the senior players do possess. The team has six new freshers and only five of the current lot have had game time at an Inter IIT before. A majority of the team has been together for just four months, however, the senior lot has done its best to make everybody feel at home and the team looks like a single unit, ready to motor its way to the top.
Captain and Coach
A captain is someone who ensures that the team plays together as a unit and who makes sure that the squad is dedicated, regular and punctual. Moreover, a captain is someone who the team should look up to and Dhyanesh was all of that in spite of suffering from an injury and being out for the better half of the semester. However, the enforcement required to keep everyone on their toes was missing due to his injury absence that led to the occurrence of a lean patch in the practice sessions in terms of the turnout and punctuality. With the ground being relayed, the practices were at the stadium where there is no lighting facility for the field which made being punctual the key to a fruitful practice session.
The coach stuck to his regime irrespective of the turnout and has had an immense impact on the team this year. Considering that it’s just his second year, it’s commendable to note how he has made the team his own. He’s the first one to enter the field and the last one to leave it. He gives the team his all and is solely responsible for all the progress that the team has made and the hidden gems that it has discovered.
The team believes that the biggest challenge this year would be overcoming injuries and maintaining the defensive stability of the team. Given that the squad contains only four natural defenders, the fitness of the defense will set the tune for the team’s success. Grooming the new lot is also essential so that they have the experience that is needed to perform on home turf for next year.
Doing well at this year’s Inter IIT is of paramount importance but the team can’t neglect the fact that they’ll be on home turf the next time around and it is equally important for them to be aptly prepared. With the passing out of a major chunk of the defence as well as the entire midfield, it is important that players playing in those positions are groomed well enough. Even though the team possesses a lot of technical capability, the members believe that their physicality is a far cry from optimum and the best thing that can be done next year is to introduce weight training sessions to enhance the physicality of the side which would condition the players better, making them less prone to injury. Team veteran, Sethu Madhavan urges all aspirants to keep pushing for the numerous spots open on the team next year, so that there is healthy competition which will help in bringing out the best in the next generation of the Wolves.
After putting in those gruelling hours at the field during main camp, the only motto that the team could think of was, “Fight hard, play harder”. Despite the setbacks at the practice sessions, the team is all set to “hunt in packs” and win glory for IITM.
We wish them good luck for their “hunt”!