2018 will always be remembered as historic year in the history of Pro Kabaddi League. For the first time in the league, a Pro Kabaddi franchise had signed a coach from outside of India to lead their team. It was the Unilazer Sports owned U Mumba, who signed Iranian Gholamreza Mazandarani to scale new heights for the second season’s winners.
U Mumba reached new heights under the guidance of Gholamreza Mazandarani, and finished second in their respective zone. The exceptional performance soon made Mazandarani apple of every franchise’s eyes, and all of sudden the Iranian’s stakes rose high ahead of the start of Pro Kabaddi Season 7.
This season the Iranian is coaching Telugu Titans, and despite the consecutive losses, no one can challenge the Iranian fitness regime, training methods and love towards the game.
If you still don’t know who Gholamreza Mazandarani is, let’s take a look at the life journey of the Iranian legend, who was a sportsperson by destiny, and coach by choice.
Gholamreza was born in Gorgan, to a family of wrestlers, and spent his childhood years emulating his father and wrestlers in the wrestling arena. He even tried learning freestyle wrestling, at the same time he learnt Judo, football and volleyball, but then came kabaddi in his life.
He was just 20, and after spending four years, his focus shifted to kabaddi, which eventually became an everlasting love affair. His first ever coach was Muhammad Salwar from Pakistan, who taught kabaddi to all the Iranians.
He was among the first few locals to learn kabaddi. He started off his career as a player, and at the same time, started coaching the team members. He was also given the responsibility to train the youngsters in Gorgan, where he even trained U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali during his early days.
He has been associated with kabaddi for the last 22 years, but still feels living out of kabaddi is not an option. He currently has a job at a real estate company in Iran, and is also the national coach of the Iran team that has risen through the ashes and even upset India in the 2018 Asian Games final.
He became the hot property, when under his guidance Iran won their first ever gold at the Asian games 2018. Sportzcraazy caught up with the veteran after the match between Telugu Titans and Puneri Paltan at the Thyagraj Stadium, Delhi and here is what the Iranian legend had to say about his 22-year long career.
Question-How has your journey been so far in Pro Kabaddi?
This is good experience for me. This is my second time in the league and I am enjoying it. This league is the best kabaddi league in the world. The league has the finest coaches and players from across the globe. This is a good chance for me because I am the only foreign coach and I want to leave a good impression.
Question- Telugu Titans has lost 6 matches and won only 3. Do you thing Titans can script a comeback in Pro Kabaddi Season 7?
All teams have a chance to win the title. Even Patna, who are at the bottom of the pile, have a chance because there is not much points difference between the top and the bottom teams, and this season is a long one.
There are still 11 games left and if we play well, we can make a comeback. We need to work on our strategy and get the players combination right.