ISL will see the emergence of a player like Kohli, feel Dynamos coach Miguel Portugal

Coaches back the rule change of getting six Indian players in a team


Kolkata: The fact that Hero Indian Super League teams will have to field at least six Indian players has been lauded by foreign coaches, saying that the tweak in the rule in this season will help develop local players.

Until last season, Hero ISL teams could play a maximum of six foreigners, but the latest rule will, according to Jamshedpur FC head coach Steve Coppell, add extra responsibility on Indian players to perform and develop.

The same point was echoed by fellow countryman Teddy Sheringham (ATK) who also feel the rule will help the development of Indian players.

“I think it’s a good decision to have six Indians on the pitch at all times and it means Indians getting more chances to play and show their skills” said the former Man United legend talking to reporters at ISL Media Day here in the city.

Northeast United head coach João Carlos Pires de Deus was one among many who were pleasantly surprised with the quality of Indian footballers they’ve worked with so far. The Portuguese was impressed with his observations, and has already done extensive research on Indian sides, having watched lot of matches as he prepares to step into the unknown.

“You ask me if the Brazilians in my team will produce magic... but what is magic? It’s not limited to Brazilians. Even the Indian players in our team are very skillful and can produce a lot of magic. You see the kid with blonde hair in the U17 World Cup team (Komal Thatal) and he was producing magic. So it’s not limited to a nationality,” feel de Deus.

Rubbing shoulders with top players has made a huge difference to Indian footballers. You see them play with marquee signings and come up against top class forwards and midfielders and it automatically builds their confidence and the game. You see these foreigners and how they carry themselves and take care of their body and the Indian players get inspired by that. The Hero ISL has played a huge role in this development, said Coppell, who is now into his second season in ISL

But the quote of the day came from Delhi Dynamos Coach Miguel Portugal. He reckons, “The Hero ISL will eventually see a player emerge - someone like the Virat Kohli of Indian football - who will then carry the team in the future and inspire youngsters to play the sport. The development of youngsters is very important for any country& progress in a sport and this league will help in that.”

The Hero ISL kicks off on November 17 with a high-profile clash between Kerala Blasters and ATK at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.


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