Former Croatia international Igor Stimac is the new coach of the Indian men’s national team, after AIFF's (All India Football Federation) Executive Committee ratified the decision previously taken by the Technical Committee, chaired by legendary footballer Shyam Thapa.
The 51-year-old had previously taken charge of the Croatian national team in July, 2012 before resigning from his role in October, 2013. During his spell in charge of Croatia, Stimac guided the team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying play-offs.
Pritam Kotal, who plies his trade as a right-back with Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK, believes that he is the best man for the job and hopes to put up a good display in Thailand.
"He is one coach who has trained the best players. It is always great to learn from the best. We have progressed a lot. But we need to do even better. We are going to participate in the King's Cup after a long time. Hope we do well there under the new coach's guidance. I wish to learn a lot from him," Kotal told Goal.
The 25-year old has appereared 34 times in national colours and was one of the first names in the team sheet during the Stephen Constantine era.
Apart from his national team coaching experience, Stimac has also won laurels at the club level. He led his hometown club Hadjuk Split to the Croatian First Football League title in 2004-05 while also taking the side all the way to the final in the Croatian Football Cup in the same year.
His most recent coaching stints have come in Asia with Sepahan in Iran and Al-Shahania in Qatar.
Kotal will be hoping to cement a place in Stimac's plans by putting in impressive performances.