He added that the increase in the number of matches will give youngsters a place in the national team in time for the AFC Asian Cup.
“For me, as far as coaches in India are concerned, it is manna from heaven. It is a great move for Indian football. As a foreign coach coming to India, we only train with players. We call it contact time. The more contact time you have with players, the better chance for a player to improve. That’s the most important part in my opinion for individuals to improve,” Brown said.
“The extension of the season, taking it to nine months, takes the contact time to another level. It helps to expand and improve the game but it also helps the coaches to get to know the players better from a psychological point of view The whole package is now nothing but a positive for an Indian player.”
The domestic football season is set to begin in August with the Durand Cup. The ISL and I-League begin in October, while the season ends with the Super Cup in May 2023, completing almost nine months of football.
Brown feels that the increased number of matches will open doors for many youngsters who want to make their side for the Indian national team.
India qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the second time in a row. The Continental competition is scheduled for June next year.
“The first XI of the national team takes care of itself but the next XI or so one after that, you are talking about the U23, U21 players in the national team. Through this calendar, these young players now have the names of the national team. There is a way to.
“Ishaan Pandita scored for the national team. In his first season at FC Goa, he was only used as a substitute, in the second season (with Jamshedpur FC), he came and scored a few games and goals, and Now look, he is pushing his case for a place in India’s first XI. The results are in front of you. Another example is Suresh (Singh Wangjam). Two years ago he was blossoming into another talent in the ISL , now he started these games for India. These are the paths that young players can now look at,” Brown said.
“Every Indian player in the team is getting used to, depending on the number of matches and the number of Indians in the team, injury and rotation. This in itself can only aid development. Some players who will not play for the season. Initially they will get a chance in the middle and suddenly you get 3-4 game runs. This exposure to the players, for me, is taking Indian football in the right direction where it should be going,” added the 63-year-old.
The ISL is set to move to a weekend-centric schedule this season with matches to be played between Thursday and Sunday.
“Playing from weekends to weekends gives players enough rest, gives coaches time to prepare better in training areas and with fans coming in, it provides a better quality of product, which will then open the turnstiles. Fans come in. Would like as the product becomes more established. Indian football is moving in the right direction with that decision,” he added.
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