Former Premier League manager Phil Brown believes the 2022-23 season will be a game-changer in Indian football with the reintroduction of cup competitions with the league, which will help the development of the sport in the country. The increased number of matches will also allow youngsters to get into the national team in time for the AFC Asian Cup, believes the former Hyderabad FC manager.
“For me, as far as coaching in India is concerned, it is manna from heaven. It is a fantastic step forward for Indian football. As a foreign coach coming to India, all we want to do is “It’s us training with the players. We call it contact time. The more contact time you have with the players, the better chance the player has of improving. That’s the most important part to my opinions for the betterment of individuals,” Brown said.
“Extending the season to nine months takes contact time to another level. It helps the game to develop and improve, but it also helps coaches get to know the players better. a psychological point of view. The whole package is now nothing but positive for an Indian player,” he added.
The national football season should start in August with the Durand Cup. The ISL and I-League begin in October while the season ends with the Super Cup in May 2023, completing almost nine months of football.
Brown believes the increased number of games will open doors for many youngsters to champion their cause for the Indian national team. India have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the second consecutive time. The continental competition is scheduled for June next year.
“The first XI of the national team takes care of itself but the next XI or the one after, you are talking about the U23, U21 players of the national team. Thanks to this schedule, these young players now have a way to national team. Ishan Pandita scored for national team. In his first season at FC Goa he was only used as a substitute, second season (with Jamshedpur FC) he came on and got some matches and goals, and look now, he is pushing his case for a place in India’s first XI. The results are there in front of you. Another example is Suresh (Singh Wangjam). Two years ago, he s was blossoming as another talent in ISL, now he started these games for India. These are the paths young players can now follow,” Brown said.
“With the number of games and the number of Indians in the squads increasing, considering injuries and rotation, every Indian player in the squad is going to be utilized. That in itself can only help development. Some Players who won’t feature at the start of the season will get their chance in the middle and suddenly you get a 3-4 game streak This exposure for the players, to me, moves Indian football in the right direction where it is should go,” the 63-year-old added.
The ISL is set to switch to a weekend-centric schedule this season with matches played between Thursday and Sunday. “Playing from one weekend to the next gives the players enough rest, the coaches time to prepare better on the training grounds and with the arrival of the fans, it allows for a better quality of product, which will then open the turnstiles. Fans will want to come because the product is becoming more established. Indian football is moving in the right direction with this decision,” concluded the former Hull City manager.
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