Indian football team and Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri has highlighted the improvement in the quality of football in the Indian Super League (ISL), reckoning that it serves as a motivation for youngsters trying to make a place in the national team to improve their levels.
Chhetri, the top Indian goalscorer in ISL’s history, cited the example of Sandesh Jhingan for being a young player who has improved his level by playing in the league.
“Every year when the league becomes competitive it helps each and every player who aspires to play for the country,” Chhetri was quoted as saying by ISL.
“With every year, the standard of the league is getting better with better players coming in. Sandesh (Jhingan) is one example. He improved as a youngster playing against the likes of Coro, (Barth) Ogbeche and Miku. The holistic and scientific training is a big help for the youngsters,” he added.
Chhetri’s view were also echoed by Hyderabad FC defender Chinglensana Singh, who felt that rubbing shoulders with the foreign players has improved the level of Indian players.
“I think the ISL has done a brilliant job for the last 10 years,” he said.
“When ISL came into the picture, many players came and Indian players developed massively. The quality of players we play with helps the domestic players honestly and you can see the result of the National Team players,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson, who will be in his second season with the Blues, after guiding the team to the ISL final last campaign, hopes for a much harder season this time around.
“With BFC, we are used to winning titles. There is no point going into the tournament if you think that you can’t win the title,” said Grayson.
“This is going to be one of the best ISLs in terms of the level of competition. We have set our ambitions and that’s the big trophy,” he added.
“We have a set of talented youngsters and they have a big part to play in our success this year. It’s a recognition of our academy system that Sivasakthi and Roshan Singh won emerging player awards,” he continued.
Notably, the upcoming season 10 of the ISL will kick-off on September 21 with Bengaluru FC facing Kerala Blasters FC in a mouthwatering clash in Kochi.