‘Discipline is a great word’ – Conor Nestor

មាស សុផាណារ៉ុង September 12, 2019


Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng coach Conor Nestor explained the importance of discipline in football, which should be what’s behind his club’s great success this season.

With five league matches to go, the Svay Rieng side top the Cambodian League table with eight points ahead of second-placed Visakha, who entertain tough opponents Ministry of National Defense this weekend.

Conor Nestor also pointed out that there seems to be a correlation between discipline and professionalism that requires footballers to make a lot of sacrifices to obtain.

The 35-year-old Irish told camsports.org: “Discipline is a great word because it covers so much. Eating correctly is discipline, not partying with your friends is discipline, doing extra work in the gym or training field that’s all discipline. At the end of your career where you end up, what you have done in the game, discipline will have more of a say than talent.

“I think it’s one of the most important components of professionalism. If you lack discipline in your life, it may not punish you on the field immediately, but eventually your life choices will catch up with you.

“Sometimes fans can be frustrated by professionals, but the truth is that it isn’t easy to be a professional footballer as it takes a lot of discipline. That’s why in my opinion the top players are the ones who love the game the most. It’s their love of the game that inspires the discipline.

“It takes 11 months to break a habit, and I’m really proud of my players because breaking habits in your life isn’t easy. I’ll give an example that we probably all have a friend who smokes cigarettes, so how hard is it for that person to quit? It can seem impossible.

“Sometimes it can be the same for footballers as they may have a habit in their game that costs the team points or a habit in their lifestyle that hurts their career. Breaking the habit takes commitment, so I feel lucky every day to work with the players who this season have made huge sacrifices in their lives, so they can represent their club in the best way.

“Can we do even better as a group? Is there room for improvement? Absolutely there is, the day I don’t believe that will be the day I move on to another project.

“When you talk about discipline as a team again, it has many meanings. My biggest issue as a coach this season is that players do too much. Maybe that will shock people, but it’s true. There are days when I see the players in the gym doing extra, but they have been ordered to rest that day.

“Recovery is another area where discipline is required, so if you don’t rest when you need to, then consistently performing at the top level becomes a problem, and you may pick up injuries. Positive examples of our discipline as a team would be in our collective movement.

“When we attack, the whole team moves up together, and when we defend, the whole team defends. That is modern football, but that also requires discipline and concentration from all 11 players at once.

“For me as a coach or a teacher, it’s about information and support. Give the players the information they need in every situation, and then if they decide they are going to follow that information, give them the support to follow through with it.

“You can look at someone like Ryan Giggs, who played until he was 40. He used to do Yoga to keep his body in shape. The club [Manchester United] found out about it and started putting on yoga classes within the club. It’s just not about telling the players to do this and do that, we have to provide the support for them to maintain discipline.

“Sometimes that can be difficult here, but in my experience it’s not because the players are unwilling, but sometimes it’s because the support systems are not in place here.”


By: Sophak Huy