Former England International David James stated that Indian football needs more competitive games for the players to develop their game. The goalkeeper was part of the Indian Super League franchise Kerala Blasters FC in the past and led them to the final of the inaugural season in 2014.
The Indian Super League allows each of the teams to play a minimum of 18 matches with two extra if they qualify for the knock-out stages, while the finalists get to play a maximum of 21 matches. With the Super Cup is not a regular phenomenon and isn't given too much importance, it cannot be taken into consideration. It has seen David James, a former Premier League player and coach of ISL franchise Kerala Blasters FC, admit that Indian football needs more competitive football for the players to develop their game and they should link up with the I-League to make it possible.
“In ISL, one or two teams can play a maximum number of 21 games. The ISL needs to become bigger and link up with the I-League. Because I-League and the teams are already there, so you will get more competitive games per season,” said David James to Mirror.
“Then your players get exposed to more competitive football per season and through that you will develop a higher skill level. It is wrong to say that players are not good enough because that sounds like that they would never be good enough. I do not think the players are exposed to the opportunities to improve,” added the former footballer.
The former England number 1 admitted that the lack of proper training facilities is also proving to be an obstacle for the growth of players in India. He feels that even if there are training grounds for each club, they are used by several teams which is not healthy.
“Another reason is the lack of facilities. The country is so big that the idea of finding training facilities in any major city is difficult. When I was going around for away fixtures, I saw every team had one football pitch.”
“Even if you look at the likes of ATK, they have one of those pitches where they are training and that pitch is also used by numerous other teams. Yes, they do have the facilities, but damaged and not conducive. The facilities need to improve.”
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi