The Indian football calendar, which is set to expand to nine months from the 2022-23 season, will be beneficial for the development of the game in the country, believes Hyderabad FC’s Indian Super League winning coach Manolo Marquez.
Supporting the Hyderabad FC coach’s point of view, Kerala Blasters FC midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad said that the opportunity to play in competitive matches would contribute to the development of professional footballers in India.
Football Sports ISL’s organizing body Development Limited (FSDL), in a recent meeting with all its clubs, announced that the football season would begin in August and run until May next year, which would bring it in line with football leagues around the world.
All ISL clubs will play at least 28 competitive matches, including 20 in the ISL and 4 each in two cup competitions – the Durand Cup and the Super Cup.
Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez welcomed the development and said that the long season has been a great one for Indian football.
“I think the long season with three competitions like Durand Cup, ISL and Super Cup and in our case the qualification for four – AFC Cup will be wonderful for Indian football. It is impossible to get good development if you do not train and if you do not play. The six-seven months of the off-season can be very long. Good Indian players are emerging after every season. They will look better, which will also enhance the quality of the national team, “Marquez told IANS.
ISL will shift to a more weekend-focused schedule this season, returning to the home-and-away format to engage more fans.
“The supporters in the stadium will be another wonderful thing. We can see it in the ISL finals and in the Satisfaction Trophy for example. We know that these factors will raise the standard of Indian football. These kinds of things take time, but one hundred percent India It will grow in the coming years, “said Marquez.
Indian national team star player Sahal Abdul Samad, who plays for Kerala Blasters, felt that extending the game time for the players was a step in the right direction.
“I think it will only help the players improve as professional footballers. All the player needs is more playing time, more matches and longer football. It also reduces the break that was too long in India. The gap between the seasons was very long so I think this will really help the players to stay focused and fit for the matches, “said the midfielder.
“As they get more playing time and more matches, the players will be fit enough. When the break is short, players can really focus on football because that’s what we do, that’s our livelihood so we can focus more on it. I really think it will help me to focus more on football as a player and help me develop as a professional footballer, “added Sahle.