ISL managers bat for more number of matches in inaugural ISL Club Coaches' Forum
The inaugural ISL Club Coaches' Forum concluded with managers of all the clubs batting for more number of matches in the league in Mumbai on Monday. Representatives from all the clubs except Hyderabad FC and NorthEast United FC attended the annual meeting
Kit Symons told the ISL Media,
"Change in the number of games is a big thing. There are different ways on how that can be done. So, again all the coaches had an opinion on that and how the number of games needs to rise and also they need to stay at the very high quality. So, it's all about finding the best way to do that. That was a big part of the discussion. It's not just ways about improving the whole league in general but also subsequently helping to improve the National Team."
The former Fulham, Crystal Palace, and Wales national team manager further added,
"It is important that everything is done right and it's not just a quick fix. It's about building and keeping things for a long period of time. We talked about that with Martin (Bain) and the other coaches of the league. That's the way they want the league to be built around, based on a solid foundation and making sure it prospers and thrives for a long period to come."
Symons was the assistant coach of Chinese Super League club Heibei China Fortune in 2019 briefly before the management sacked the entire coaching staff. At the Football United show before the match between Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC, Symons said both the leagues were very similar but the major difference between them was the number of teams involved.
While the Chinese Super League have 16 clubs, ISL only has 10. As a result, the footballers are getting less playing time as compared to their Chinese counterparts.
India's national team coach Igor Stimac has time and again advocated the need for more number of matches in club football as the long off-season can hamper the growth of players. It was re-iterated later by national team regulars like Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Sandesh Jhingan.
With the ISL managers also championing the cause of more number of matches, we might see a longer league from the next season onwards.