ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters FC assistant coach Thangboi Singto explains why there is no Indian manager in the league
Last season, after his eight-year-long association with Shillong Lajong, Thangboi Singto had to eventually part ways with the club he joined as an assistant, way back in 2009. He eventually went on the become the head coach at Lajong in 2012 and did an extremely commendable job with them in the I-League, helping the club achieve a mid-table finish under difficult circumstances last season.
But here is the hard truth. In 2009, Singto was an assistant coach in the I-League. Fast forward nine years, the talented and proven Singto once again finds himself in the same position. Once again he's the assistant coach, only this time, for a club in the ISL - the Kerala Blasters. In fact, there is not a single Indian head coach in the Indian Super League. Asked why is the situation so, he provided an extremely insightful explanation.
"It depends upon the league, as we need to prove ourselves first. We have to reach the level where people believe that Indian coaches are ready to take the job. Not only here, we also don't see many Indian coaches outside, in other countries. If we can get Indian coaches in South East Asian countries, then maybe the situation might change in the ISL," he told Sportskeeda on Wednesday.
Singto reckons Indian coaches don't particularly lack the skills to raise their level. He believes they lack the communication skills and confidence to effectively get across their ideas to the players. Singto, who has an AFC Pro coaching license, cited examples of other industries where Indians are at the top of their game.
"I think coaches should be confident in their capabilities. Sometimes, we Indians don't open up. In other fields like IT and science, we Indians are at the top. Microsoft, Google, everywhere there are Indians. Indian coaches need to be more extroverted and better their selves with regard to methods," he stated at the launch of the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) in Mumbai.
Singto rued the fact that the majority of Indian coaches don't get the opportunity to test themselves at the highest level. He alluded to the situation where the ISL currently does not provide a platform for an Indian to be a head coach due to certain conditions but hopes the situation will change.
"It depends on the opportunity. Until and unless we are tested, we will not know how good we are. I think the criteria for the ISL is that a coach has to have been the coach of a national team or at a European level. For us, when are we going to play World Cup or a European Cup?" he signed off.