The Indian Super League winning coach believes that the decision to extend the domestic football calendar in the country by nine months will benefit the coaches and players, even club administrators and fans. Gregory, who helped Chennaiyin FC win the ISL title in 2018, said, “A season over nine months is a better format for the coaches, players and club administrators. It will be very exciting for everyone to be involved in the longer-term. The project. As a coach or player, I would be incredibly excited to play a season spread over nine months. This will give you good recovery time after each game and with it a better performance from your players and obviously the coaches. More time should come for him to apply his ideas and philosophy 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 now correspond to the type of weather that Europe certainly experiences. I do not doubt the future of football in India. I have myself seen it grow and grow since 2017. The sport has captured the imagination. People have done incredibly well, especially since the inception of the ISL and world-class players have come to the country and showcase their talent. The nine-month-long season 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 offered! Your career is often judged on how many cups, titles or caps you have won during your time as a player. So more competitions mean more medal prospects. E.g. -As you grow as a young player, you want to be involved in these big challenges. Playing in the semi-finals and finals is important for your development as we have seen in the last season like Rohit Danu, Akash Mishra, Looked up to players like Liston Colaco and Kylian Nasiri in the ISL. They must have gained enormous knowledge and experience playing in the kind of environment they faced last season. They will also understand that when you were in professional football. Winning is the only thing that matters and you have to do everything in your power to ensure that,” the 68-year-old said.
Gregory believes that 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 last season in Jamshedpur was brilliant in developing the unknowns in his team and giving them a chance to play in the ISL. Even young and unknown players cannot ignore the fact that football makes you want to be someone in life. Could give a great chance. Narendra, Rehneesh, Ricky, Boris and Ritwik Das suddenly became the first choice for Owen as they all took the opportunity the coach gave them.”
“Head coaches are now starting to rely on domestic players. More and more players are developing quickly and taking the opportunity to play the beautiful game. Many parents are now discovering that professional football can help their son or daughter. can give a wonderful life.Education is still of course extremely important but 5-6 years playing in ISL and Indian national team can prepare you for life financially if you dedicate yourself to the sport Work very hard to do and take your chance,” said Gregory. (ANI)
First published:22 June 2022, 7:16 pm