Terry Phelan questions Kerala Blasters' long-term vision

Kerala Blasters has failed to make the ISL playoffs for three consecutive seasons and also lost its most popular player Sandesh Jhingan.

Phelan coached Kerala Blasters in the ISL in 2015.   -  H. Vibu

Terry Phelan, who had managed Indian Super League (ISL) team Kerala Blasters in 2015, wants the management to be proactive with its planning. The club has failed to make the ISL playoffs for three consecutive seasons and also lost its most popular player Sandesh Jhingan, who left the club after six years.

"I don't think they (Blasters) have a long-term vision. You can't have eight coaches in six seasons. You have to maintain stability. A new coach comes in with new ideas, then he doesn't work out. Immediately, another one comes in and the players struggle to adapt," Phelan, who has also served as the Indian club's academy manager and technical director, told Sportstar.

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"They have lost a very big player in Jhingan. How will they fill the hole? That's the big question. Kerala has some wonderful fans. I enjoyed my time there. I hope the new coach (Kibu Vicuna) wins the title. The likes of ATK and Bengaluru (FC) are going to make it difficult."

Phelan, who is currently working as the technical director of Bengaluru-based South United football academy, also added that the unification of the ISL and the I-League with a proper structure is essential for the development of football in India.

"Indian players need more games. More games make you a better player. I know the ISL and I-League will merge in a few years and it's fantastic. Playing only for six months is not enough, what will the footballers do during the rest of the year? More clarity at the grassroots level is also necessary.

"India has good coaches and players but they need to be educated even more. Let's look at other countries like Australia and the United States and see how they're doing it. If they implement a proper structure right from the bottom to the top, then the Indian football team might be able to compete with the top Asian teams in five years," the former Republic of Ireland international concluded.   

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