Indian football calendar now more akin to European season: Former Premier League manager John Gregory | football news

An increased number of games and multiple competitions from the 2022-23 season brings Indian football in line with what European football experiences feel earlier First League Manager John Gregory. The decision to extend the national calendar in the country to nine months will benefit coaches and players, even club administrators and fans, believes the Indian Super League-winning coach who helped Chennayin FC to the title in 2018.
“It’s a much better format for coaches, players and club administrators when the season spans nine months. It will be tremendously exciting for everyone to be involved in a long-term project. As a coach or player I would be amazing I’m looking forward to playing the nine month season. It will give you good recovery time after every game and therefore better performances from your players and of course more time for the coaches to implement their ideas and philosophies on the training pitches,” he said Gregory.
Gregory spent two and a half seasons at Chennaiyin after joining the club in 2017. The Englishman praised the growth of the sport in the country over the years. “The season now will be more in line with the kind of season that Europe is certainly experiencing. I have no doubts about the future of football in India. I’ve seen it grow and grow myself since 2017. The game has captured people’s imaginations insanely well , especially since the ISL introduced and world-class players have come to the country and showcased their talent. Extending the season to nine months is a bold move,” he added.
In addition to the two leagues – ISL and I-League – the clubs will also take part in two cup competitions, the Durand Cup and the Super Cup. Gregory believes that the additional options will support player development.
“More silver on sale! Your career is often judged by how many trophies, titles or caps you have won during your time as a player. So more competitions mean more chances for medals. As you progress as a young player, you want to be a part of playing in these big challenges. Playing in the semifinals and finals is important for your development, as we saw last season in the ISL for players like Rohit DanuAkash Mishra, Liston Colaco and Kiyan Nassiri. They will have gained a lot of knowledge and experience to play in the kind of environment they were in last season. They will also understand that professional football is all about winning and you have to do everything to make it happen,” said the 68-year-old.
Gregory also believes the longer season will provide more opportunities for coaches to invest in youth and spot talent for the benefit of Indian football. Using the example of a compatriot owen Coyle, who is in his second season at jamshedpur FC won League Winners Shield with a youth-heavy squad, Gregory explained: “Owen Coyle was excellent at Jamshedpur last season in developing unknowns in his squad and giving them a chance to play in the ISL. Young and also unknown players cannot ignore the fact that football can give you a wonderful chance in life to be somebody. Narender, Rehenesh, Ricky, Boris and Ritwik suddenly all became Owen’s first choice because they all jumped at the chance the manager gave them.”
“The head coaches are now starting to trust the local players. More and more players are developing early and taking their chance to play the beautiful game. Many parents are now discovering that professional football can bring their son or daughter an amazing life. Education is still extremely important of course, but playing 5-6 years in the ISL and the Indian national team can set you up financially for life. If you are ready to devote yourself to the game, work extremely hard and take your chance,” Gregory concluded .

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