Former Premier League manager John Gregory believes the decision to extend the domestic football calendar by nine months will bring Indian football in line with European countries and will be beneficial for coaches and players, even club administrators and fans. Will happen.
Gregory, who helped Chennaiyin FC win the ISL title in 2018, said, “The season is a much better format for coaches, players and club administrators, lasting more than nine months. It will be extremely exciting for everyone to be involved in a long term project. As a coach or player, I am incredibly excited to be playing this season spanning nine months. This will give you good recovery time after each game and with that should come a better performance from your players and obviously more time for the coaches to apply their ideas and philosophies on the training pitches. ,
Gregory spent two and a half seasons at Chennaiyin FC after joining the club in 2017. The British appreciated the development of the game in the country since the introduction of Indian football.
“The season will be in line with the type of season Europe is experiencing now. I don’t doubt the future of football in India. I’ve seen it grow and grow myself since 2017. The game captured people’s imagination incredibly well Especially since the ISL debuted and world-class players have come to the country and showcased their talent. A season spanning nine months is a bold move,” said Gregory.
Along with two leagues – the ISL and the I-League, the club will also participate in two cup competitions, the Durand Cup and the Super Cup. Gregory feels that the additional opportunities will help in the development of the players, creating a winning mindset.
“More silverware on offer! Your career is often judged on how many cups, titles or caps you’ve won during your time as a player. So more competitions mean more chances of a medal. E.g. As you grow as a young player, you want to be involved in these bigger challenges. Playing in the semi-finals and finals is important for your development as we have seen Rohit Danu, Akash Mishra, Liston Colaco and Kylian in the last season. Saw in the ISL for players like Nasiri. They would have gained a lot of knowledge and experience to play in the kind of environment they faced last season. They will also understand that when you are in professional football. Winning is all that matters. That is the only thing that matters and you have to do everything in your power to ensure that,” said the 68-year-old.
Gregory believes the longer season will give coaches more opportunities to invest in the youth and explore the talent for Indian football. Gregory cited the example of fellow Briton Owen Coyle, who in his second season at Jamshedpur FC won a League Shield featuring a youth-heavy team.
“Owen Coyle was brilliant at developing the unknowns in his squad last season at Jamshedpur and giving them a chance to play in the ISL. Even young and unknown players cannot ignore the fact that football can give you a great chance to become something in life. Narendra, Rehneesh, Ricky, Boris and Ritwik Das suddenly became the first choice for Owen as they all took the opportunity the coach had given them. ,
“Head coaches are now relying on domestic players. More and more players are developing quickly and taking the chance to play the beautiful game. Many parents are now discovering that professional football can give their son or daughter a wonderful life. Education is still extremely important but playing 5-6 years in ISL and Indian national team can prepare you for life financially if you work very hard to dedicate yourself to the sport and take your chance ,” said Gregory.
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