Indian Super League’s new rule of mandatory six Indian players on the field at all times in a match has been lauded by foreign coaches who said this will help develop local players.
Until last season, six foreigners can be on the field but that has been changed to five this season. This meant six Indians will have to be on the field at all times of a match.
Englishmen head coaches Teddy Sheringham (ATK) and John Gregory (Chennaiyin FC) said the tweak in rule this year will help the development of Indian players while Jamshedpur FC’s Steve Coppell said it would add “extra responsibility on Indian players to perform and develop”.
“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 Man United legend Sheringham here at the ISL Media Day.
“We don’t have a marquee signing this year but you will see that we have invested our money in young Indians who will not just come on for 10 minutes but will form an integral part of my squad this season,” explained Gregory.
Northeast United’s head coach, Portuguese Joao Carlos Pires de Deus was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Indian players he has worked with so far.
“You ask me if the Brazilians in my team will produce magic, but what is magic? It’s not limited to Brazilians. Even Indian players in our team are very skillful and can produce magic. You see the kid with blonde hair in U-17 World Cup team (Komal Thatal) and he was producing magic. So it’s not limited to a nationality,” he said.
“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. The ISL has played a huge role in this development,” said Coppell, who is now into his second season in ISL
“The 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’s progress in a sport and this league will help in that,” Delhi Dynamos’ head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said.
The ISL kicks off on November 17 with a high-profile clash between Kerala Blasters and ATK at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.