The Indian Super League's (ISL) new rule of playing six Indian players on the field at all times during a match has received praise from foreign coaches of the ISL teams. The coaches said that this will help the local players develop their game. Unlike the last season of the ISL, this time five foreign players will be on the field in place of six. While ATK coach Teddy Sheringham and Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory said that this new rule will help the Indian players, Jamshedpur FC's coach Steve Coppell inferred that it would add extra responsibility on Indian players to perform and develop.
"I think it's a good decision to have six Indians on the pitch at all times and it means Indians getting more chances to play and show their skills," said the Man United legend Sheringham at the ISL Media Day.
"We don't have a marquee signing this year but you will see that we have invested our money in young Indians who will not just come on for 10 minutes but will form an integral part of my squad this season," explained Gregory.
Northeast United's head coach, Portuguese Joao Carlos Pires de Deus was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Indian players he has worked with so far.
"You ask me if the Brazilians in my team will produce magic, but what is magic? It's not limited to Brazilians. Even Indian players in our team are very skillful and can produce magic. You see the kid with blonde hair in U-17 World Cup team (Komal Thatal) and he was producing magic. So it's not limited to a nationality," he said.
"Rubbing shoulders with top players has made a huge difference to Indian footballers. You see them play with marquee signings and come up against top class forwards and midfielders and it automatically builds their confidence and the game. The ISL has played a huge role in this development," said Coppell, who is now into his second season in ISL.
"The ISL will eventually see a player emerge, someone like the Virat Kohli of Indian football, who will then carry the team in the future and inspire youngsters to play the sport. The development of youngsters is very important for any country's progress in a sport and this league will help in that," Delhi Dynamos' head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said.
The ISL kicks off on November 17 with a high-profile clash between Kerala Blasters and ATK at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
(With PTI inputs)