Indian players need to learn to be professional from a younger age, states Joel Chianese

Indian players need to learn to be professional from a younger age, states Joel Chianese

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Joel Chianese played inspiring football with Hyderabad FC last season


HFC Media

Joel Chianese has been one of Hyderabad FC's vital cogs in their inspiring campaign last season, where they narrowly missed out on a spot in the semi-finals. However, the Aussie, after a brief stint with Perth Glory FC, is once again back in India, to complete unfinished business for the Nizams.

Australian footballers seem to have accepted India as a home away from home, with the constant flocking into the Indian Super League working as a template for generations to follow. In fact, the opportunities and prospects are quite bright for the time being, even though India itself is not a major football-playing nation. Thanks to the recent revolution, that has pumped millions into the system, it has become viable for players to ply trade in this part of the world and winger Joel Chianese is one such example.

For a career starting with appearances in the A-League, one of the biggest in Asia, he never imagined that he would end up in India years down the line. Just a couple of years after guiding Perth Glory FC to an A-League title win, the forward penned down a contract with Hyderabad FC. After 20 matches, a short stint on loan with Perth Glory FC, Chianese is back with the Indian outfit once again.

Contrasting leagues varied playing styles and a difference of football standard – the difference between the A-League and the ISL has not been a hurdle for the footballer as he is up for the challenge.

“It wasn’t too difficult. I really enjoyed my time back in Australia and it allowed me to stay fit for this season in the ISL,” said Joel Chianese, during an exclusive chat with SportsCafe.

However, narrowly missing out on qualification to the knock-outs last season, Chianese has figured out where his team lacks and is all geared up to help them achieve the target when the season gets underway.

“One thing we will work on is our goals conceded in transition once we lose the ball close to our goal. The rest we just need to build and improve on,” added the winger.

Joel Chianses guided Perth Glory to a top-place finish in the 2018-19 A-League ©

The alteration in the foreign player rule was already on the cards but the transition won’t be smooth for the Indian clubs, with them heavily relying on overseas players to act in vital positions. Not only are the selections going to be a headache for the coach, but also to designate the positions to deploy foreign recruits makes the job tougher. Either way, the incoming recruits would be on their toes to perform, or the axe is waiting around the corner.

“Yes. I feel it will be a big difference (the four-foreigner rule). Some teams may struggle more than others. Coaches may have some tough decisions to make at times with players starting/resting. When I play I will give 100% and aim to score and assist goals,” explained the Aussie.

Having played a whole season in India, Joel has pretty much figured out the gist of the proceedings in ISL. Needless to say, there are flaws, which is acceptable. However, bringing about a change and rectification should be on the cards, rather than blatantly repeating the same template over again, for which the players and the organisers should be held equally accountable.

“I think just the understanding of the game and football knowledge (needs to be improved). This goes a long way to understanding a system, formation, style of play that your coach wants you to play,” analyzed the footballer.

With the Sunil Chhetri-era at its dusk, it’s time for the new crop to rise up to the occasion, with the focus on the future batch. However, with limited opportunities at present, the colts need to wait for their moment and when it arrives, they have no other option but to take full advantage of it. However, there’s a broader aspect that young guns need to take care of.

“The young boys needs to be patient and wait for their chance. But they also need to be ready when that chance comes up. They need to learn to be professional from a younger age and understand football,” claimed Joel Chianese.

Given the hectic schedule of the ISL, the recovery time is limited for the players, with teams almost playing three matches in a week. That’s not an ideal situation and yet, Chianese has lauded the efforts of the organisers to make the league in these testing times. In fact, he’s always sung in favour of the league, as do many Australians, with the clubs also mostly filling their Asian quota from ‘Down Under’ itself. 

“I think the league has does outstanding to make the ISL continue in these COVID times. It’s not ideal with small recovery time. There is little time to train tactics between games and the guys not playing often feel separated but we need to get through these tougher times and all will be fine,” explained the footballer.

Hyderabad FC will begin their 2021-22 Indian Super League campaign against Chennaiyin FC, on November 23.

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