The Indian football team led by talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri Friday welcomed new coach Igor Stimac to the new set-up and said they are determined to give their 100 per cent on the field under the former Croatian World Cupper.
The 51-year-old Stimac, who was part of Croatia's 1998 World Cup squad that finished third in France, was Wednesday officially appointed as head coach of the Indian team. He comes with an experience of over 18 years in coaching, structuring and developing football with players back home and internationally.
As a coach, Stimac's major achievement was guiding Croatia to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil.
'I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the new boss, @stimac_ligor on his appointment as coach of the National team. He brings with him tremendous experience of having coached on some of the biggest stages in football. We will do well to benefit from it,' Chhetri had earlier tweeted soon after Stimac's appointment.
'This will be a process, one towards which we will be giving nothing less than 100 per cent. I've already spoken with the boys from the national team, and we have begun working on our fitness as we need to switch modes soon,' he added.
'When there is a change in guard at the helm, what doesn't change is our desire to keep improving. What I am also assuming won't change is the way all you fans have backed us. Let's all turn to this new chapter,' he said.
India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said he is eagerly waiting for the first national camp under Stimac here.
'I am very excited to be honest. We have a busy year coming ahead which is really good for us to keep developing as a team. We need games like the King's Cup, and the Hero Intercontinental Cup to challenge ourselves to grow. I am really looking forward, and very happy,' Gurpreet was quoted as saying by All India Football Federation (AIFF) in its website. 'If we keep doing our jobs like we have in the recent past, I am sure we will grow even more.'