ISL 2016: Kerala Blasters boss Steve Coppell calls for longer league schedule, better youth setup

Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell on Monday said he fails to understand the real purpose of the Indian Super League (ISL) pointing out that by the time a team is in shape, the season is almost over.

IANS November 28, 2016 17:35:50 IST
ISL 2016: Kerala Blasters boss Steve Coppell calls for longer league schedule, better youth setup

Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell on Monday said he fails to understand the real purpose of the Indian Super League (ISL) pointing out that by the time a team is in shape, the season is almost over.

ISL 2016 Kerala Blasters boss Steve Coppell calls for longer league schedule better youth setup

Kerala Blasters manager Steve Coppell. ISL

"I try hard to understand what the league is for," Coppell told media persons in Kolkata ahead of their crunch tie against Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) on Tuesday. Both teams are on 18 points and have two matches in hand.

"Usually it takes 10-12 games to get going. By that time here, the league games are over. Is the purpose to develop players or to build legacy? I don't know.

"Facilities for young players are at a minimum. Somewhere ISL has to have the responsibility to develop young players so that India as a footballing nation can grow and be proud of their game," said the former Manchester United winger.

Commenting on Tuesday's game, Coppell said: "Both teams have an awful lot to play for tomorrow. We have come to the meaty end of the season."

Asked about ATK's poor home run, Coppell said: "Don't think their poor home form has any impact. Kolkata have been unlucky in a few games. They have good strikers.

Coppell signed off by putting his weight behind a longer league.

"It has to be spread around. I will want to see a longer league. This is quick punch and go. For the league to have legacy it has to be longer. Kids from 6 years old onwards need better coaches to develop. The foreigners need to be reduced every four five years but then Indians learn from them also."

"It's exciting to look at. In English Premier League have also same problem. Every three four five years drop one international player. But then Indian players have to learn from foreigners."

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