Being the captain and the team’s setter, Alappuzha’s T.T. Sharath has his hands full at the Kerala State senior volleyball championship here.
But he has an additional role too.
With the coach Raju and assistant coach Sreejith who were named on the team list, not turning up here, Sharath had to shoulder the coach’s job and responsibility too.
One could see him calling for a timeout or signalling the team bench for a substitution when Alappuzha played Thrissur in a men’s league game under a blazing sun at the Panchayat Stadium here on Tuesday.
“Our association secretary is also our coach and since he went for the State mini championship (when ended on Sunday at Kondotty in Malappuram), he couldn’t come here,” said the 26-year-old Sharath after the match which ended shortly before noon.
He admitted that the additional job was a risky one and needed a fine balance.
“It’s very tough…only a coach, watching from outside, can understand who is playing badly, who is missing many attempts, so he can make substitutions accordingly,” said Sharath, who has been playing the game for the last 10 years.
“It’s tough to think clearly when one man has to do a lot of things. There could be misunderstanding too among players when you don’t bring them in. But I’ve been going with our sub-junior and junior teams as the coach.”
Despite the extra burden, Sharath kept his cool under pressure, offering a short lift for Sojan, a perfect back set for T.S. Shiju and kept Joseph Mathew busy as Alappuzha weathered a Thrissur storm to pull off a five-set victory.