ISL: Coaches stress on grassroots development

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Call for sustained effort

A tangible impact on football can happen only with focused grassroots development sustained over time, feel the coaches managing two of the biggest sides of the Hero-Indian Super League.

Cesar Ferrando and Carles Cuadrat, the men who helm Jamshedpur FC and Bengaluru FC, insisted on the necessity of youth development as the league stage of the fifth season entered its decisive stage.

Inconsequential

The assessment of the development scenario came ahead of their fixture here on Wednesday, which has become inconsequential with Bengaluru FC confirming the top spot in the standings, while Jamshedpur’s play-off hopes have evaporated.

Ferrando, who once managed Atletico Madrid, said, “Foreign coaches may introduce different playing formations according to the talent available, but Indian players can deliver only when they develop technical abilities at the right age,” he said.

Cuadrat, who helped Bengaluru ensure its second successive play-off qualification, insisted on a pyramid structure in the development process.

Huge gap

“The ISL is played at a good level but there is a huge gap with other divisions. Like our ‘B’ team is winning by 11-0 or 6-0 margins in local tournaments.

“It does not speak well of the conditions,” Cuadrat said about the disparity in the overall standard of football in the country.

“So you need a pyramid structure with a big talent pool at the base under quality coaches, from where the better players will move to the top league of the country,” Cuadrat said.

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