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What is the purpose of ISL, asks Kerala coach Steve Coppell

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SportsCafe Desk

11/29/2016

Kerala Blasters FC coach Steve Coppell has stressed that the India Super League's aim should be to leave a lasting legacy for the youth of India. Coppell also felt that the league can drop international stars for a good local player by emphasising more on developing home-grown talent.

"The objective should be to play more football, become more competitive. I've been here 12 games now and I find it hard to understand. Is the purpose to develop players, develop interest, or to find the best team?," Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell questioned the authorities, reported TOI.

The former Manchester United midfielder stressed that it should be about leaving a lasting legacy which can help India break into the top-100 of the FIFA rankings in the near future.

"One of the prime purposes is to leave a legacy on the young players. Somewhere the ISL is got to owe responsibility to develop facilities for young players, so that in 5-10 years time India can have a football team that they can be proud of. At least in the top-100 in the world," Coppell said.

If provided with proper facilities and training, Coppell felt that the league can go without the luxury of signing a marquee player in favour of a local talent.

"It will be a next step in progression. This league is exciting to look at because of some of the great players here. May be every three-four years drop one International star, so next year you can have six Indians who will have more responsibility to become better players," he suggested.

The 61-year-old is of the opinion that a season lasting just nine weeks will not help to inspire the younger generation.

"Longer season than nine weeks will impact young people more. Better facilities for kids. Six years onwards to be coached properly with coaches with proper education," insisted Coppell.

Currently, Coppell's team Kerala Blasters are fourth in the ISL table with 18 points from 12 games and will face third-placed Atletico de Kolkata on Tuesday to book a place in the semifinals.

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