Jony Gergory, the former English Premier League manager has said that he believes that the decision to extend the domestic football calendar to nine months will bring Indian soccer in line with European countries and it will be beneficial for coaches and players, even club administrators and fans.
Gregory, who helped Chennaiyin FC win the ISL title in 2018 said, “For coaches, players, and club administrators having the season stretched out over nine months is a much better format. It will be tremendously exciting for everyone to be involved in a long-term project. As a coach or player, I would be incredibly excited about playing the season spread across nine months. It will give you good recovery time after each game and with that should come better performances from your players and obviously more time for coaches to implement their ideas and philosophies on the training pitches.”
Gregory spent two and a half seasons at Chennaiyin FC after joining the club in 2017. The Englishman lauded the growth of the sport in the country ever since his introduction to Indian football.
“The season now will be more in line with the type of season that Europe experiences. I don’t doubt the future of football in India. I’ve seen it myself since 2017 grow and grow. The game has captured the imagination of the people incredibly well, particularly since the ISL was introduced and world-class players have come to the country and paraded their talents. The season expanding to nine months is a bold step,” said Gregory.
Along with the two leagues – ISL and I-League, clubs will also feature in two cup competitions, the Durand Cup and the Super Cup. Gregory feels that the additional opportunities will aid in the development of players, instilling a winning mentality.