ISL team owners should be forced to build good academies: Grant

The former manager of Chelsea FC feels the Indian footballers often fall behind when it comes to the basics of the game.

Former Chelsea Manager Avram Grant (right), has been appointed as an advisor and assistant coach to Eelco Schattorie of NorthEast United FC.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Avram Grant, who in the height of his managerial career helmed a top English club like the Chelsea FC, feels the Indian footballers often fall behind when it comes to the basics of the game.

Grant, who is presently managing NorthEast United FC, says the solution to this problem is to have enough “good” academies. The celebrated coach said that given a chance he would like to force the owners of the ISL teams to have good academies, which will have quality coaches and top class training facilities.

“I have seen a lot of good potential here. Lot of players who have the skill and the quickness to make it big but what has hit be time and again are the lack of academies. It is because we need to teach a lot of things to the players, which the academies generally do,” Grant said while reflecting his team’s performance in the current season.

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“Talking about my experience with NorthEast United, I found the people and the players fantastic. They are nice people always willing to learn and I am convinced that there are a lot of talent here in India, much better that what I had thought before arriving here.

"But this not the place where we should be teaching the basics, it is the work of the academies. Sometimes even a senior player needs to be educated about some basic aspect of the game,” Grant stressed.

“This is the reason why I think the League should have continued with the six foreigner system because it will be beneficial for the competition and good for the Indian players who will be able see and learn new things. The presence of good foreigners provides examples for others.

"Given a chance I will try to force the owners to build a good academy, at least for the 16-year-old players to start with,” Grant said when asked about his assessment of the tournament.

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