Bengaluru FC captain and India’s football icon Sunil Chhetri reckons the standard of ISL is getting better with every year. The upcoming season of the Hero ISL will be the 10th edition of the tournament and the league has definitely helped Indian football take giant strides in the last decade.
A lot of the young players have risen through the ranks by rubbing shoulders with one of the best in the business. The level has certainly been lifted to new heights with players grabbing their opportunities.
Chhetri feels India’s veteran defender Sandesh Jhinghan is one fine example as he got better while playing with players like Coro, Bartholomew Ogbeche, and Miku.
“Every year when the league becomes competitive it helps each and every player who aspires to play for the country,” Chhetri told reporters during the ISL Media Day in Bengaluru.
“With every year, the standard of the league is getting better with better players coming in. Sandesh (Jhingan) is one example. He improved as a youngster playing against the likes of Coro, (Barth) Ogbeche, and Miku. The holistic and scientific training is a big help for the youngsters,” he added.
On the other hand, Bengaluru FC had a great run in the previous season, winning the Durand Cup and qualifying for the finals of ISL and the Hero Super Cup. The team’s head coach Simon Grayson said the team will look to go all the way in the upcoming season.
“With BFC, we are used to winning titles. There is no point going into the tournament if you think that you can’t win the title,” Grayson told reporters in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
“This is going to be one of the best ISLs in terms of the level of competition. We have set our ambitions and that’s the big trophy,” he added.
“We have a set of talented youngsters and they have a big part to play in our success this year. It’s a recognition of our academy system that Sivasakthi and Roshan Singh won emerging player awards,” he continued.
Bengaluru FC will begin their Hero ISL 2023-24 campaign against Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi on 21st September.