Renedy Singh: Merging ISL with I-League the way forward

Renedy feels that the current crop of Indian footballers stand to gain a lot by training under coaches such as Zico and David Platt.

A file photo of Renedy Singh (right) with French football player of Indian origin, Vikash Dhorasoo.   -  V. Sudershan

Former India international Renedy Singh feels merging the Indian Super League (ISL) with the I-League is the way forward for Indian football.

Talking to PTI, the 36-year-old former midfielder from Manipur said, “The merger cannot happen straightaway. The big stars who come to play in the ISL would not agree to spend one whole year in India. As of now, they are comfortable staying here for three-four months. But, a few tears down the line, the prospect needs to be explored,” said the assistant coach of FC Pune City.

Renedy feels that the current crop of Indian footballers stand to gain a lot by training under coaches such as Zico and David Platt (Renedy’s boss at FC Pune City).

“In our times, we did not get that opportunity. Look at Jeje (Lalpekhlua). He is doing so well in the I-League because he got to rub shoulders with great players and coaches in the ISL,” he quipped.

At the same time, Renedy feels that ISL should not prosper at the cost of I-League.

“The number of I-League teams would have to increase. It is never good to see a player not getting a team and sitting at home. From next year onwards, the AIFF is trying to get two more teams,” he informed.

The former India international is happy to see the Kolkata clubs doing well in the current edition of the I-League.

“When I started playing club football in the mid 90s, clubs from Kolkata used to rule the scene. Subsequently, the Goan clubs took over. But, now is the time for Kolkata again,” said Renedy, who has played for six years each for Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

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