Jamshedpur will be a big club in the ISL: Coach Steve Coppell

Steve Coppell (Image credit-ESPN FC)

Kolkata: It was never going to be easy for Jamshedpur FC, the Indian Super League debutants to compete in a tournament that has seven opponents who have a more experience in the league and also retained players. But all this counted up and until Steve Coppell was appointed the coach of the newly formed franchise. Static at his usual avatar of not looking beyond the first match, the Englishmen however warned other teams of taking Jamshedpur lightly.

“It will be history whatever Jamshedpur FC does. We expect everything to fall in place when the time comes,” said the former Manchester United player at an ISL media event on Sunday at Kolkata.

Managing a completely new team will be difficult, but the prospect of winning the league with an entirely new club is what dragged Coppell to the job. “Potentially Jamshedpur FC will be a big club in ISL. Apart from that no other goals to be set,” he added.

The ISL event on Monday however had just more than Delhi Dynamos, Jamshedpur FC, NorthEast United and ATK. It was about two Englishmen, both represented the same country in the World Cups, played for the same club and interestingly both described Kerala Blasters as the ‘hot-bed of Indian football.’

Coppell had been the coach of the Kochi side last season but will be on the other side on 24th November 2017 and answering to a question about his return to Kochi he said, “It won’t be bittersweet. It will be sweet-sweet. Always good to go back to Kerala. It’s a hotbed for football and they appreciate football. I hope on the night football wins, but I am on the other side,” said the former Kerala Blasters coach with a chuckle in his face.

The former Manchester City coach has been a part of the ISL since 2016 and has not only played a major role but also witnessed the development of the Indian players and put out a big statement about the development of the Indian players.

“The best way to judge how far the Indian players has come is by looking at the Indian team. I am a great admirer of Stephen Constantine, he has lifted the team form the 170s to inside and close to the top 100. The ISL has been a part and component of such a development,” he said. Before adding, “Rubbing shoulders with top players has made a huge difference to Indian footballers. You see them play with marquee signings and come up against top class forwards and midfielders and it automatically builds their confidence and the game. You see these foreigners and how they carry themselves and take care of their body and the Indian players get inspired by that. The Hero ISL has played a huge role in this development.”

Delhi coach Miguel Angel Portugal also echoed along the same lines that this league will open a chance for many Indian players to witness some of the greats of this game, it will not only develop them into a better player but also take India ahead in the world of football.

The Portugese played five seasons for European superpowers Real Madrid and even went on to win the league title in 1979-80. Real Madrid however have been a shadow of themselves this season and are yet to accelerate after a stellar campaign last year.

Portugal however dismissed all such qualms and said, “Every club goes through such situations. Real Madrid is a big club and no problem can be a big problem for them. It is only a matter of time before they sort out these little problems and water winning again.”


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