Adil Khan: Hero ISL in Goa is a great thing for Goan football

The upcoming season of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) is set to take place in the state of Goa, keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic. Hyderabad FC defender Adil Khan spoke highly about this decision on the latest episode of Let’s Football Live with Khuri Irani. Among other things, the Goa native believes that this move can be beneficial for youth development in Goa.

“It’s a great thing for Goan football because there will be a lot of changes from a Hero ISL perspective. The grounds will be better for the training, etc. In the future, other Goan clubs can play on those grounds. It will be better for the young players to come up with good performances on the ground. It is beneficial for the youth development in Goa,” he said.

Having played in the inaugural season of the Hero ISL in 2014, Adil missed out on the second and third season due to a series of injuries. Since returning to fitness, he has made 49 appearances over the last three seasons and the 32-year-old defender believes that the Hero ISL helped provide a lifeline for many such players like him.

“It was a lifeline for a lot of players. Especially those who wanted to express themselves at a higher level. A lot of people did not know us before, but now if you see, wherever we go, people recognize us. Moreover, there has been a lot of infrastructural changes as well. Hero ISL has given the players a better platform to express themselves at a higher level.“

“They have a lot of youth development programmes that are taking place. Entire India is taking part in it. Hero ISL has brought in a lot of positives into Indian football. Hopefully, it will grow in the coming years and we will see better players coming out of it and playing in different leagues in the world,” he added.

READ: Three stadiums in Goa announced as hosts for Hero ISL 2020-21

Another major development in Indian football that took place on Sunday was the announcement of a multi-year partnership between Adil’s club Hyderabad FC and German football giants Borussia Dortmund. While sharing his thoughts on the partnership, the Indian international explained why he’s confident that the move will be beneficial not only for Hyderabad, but also Indian football in general.

“It’s great news… not only for Hyderabad FC, but also for Indian football as well. Because the youth in Hyderabad’s team will give their best and get an opportunity to go abroad and get some exposure. It’s great news for the club, the fans and the players. Hopefully, it will work out,” he said.

“This news is a boost for all the youngsters. They need to prove themselves at the club for the coach and the management to look after them and push them to a different level to go abroad and work with the Borussia Dortmund facilities and players. I will be talking to the youngsters so that we get a good result. For that, we need the correct combination of youth and experience. We need to come together as a team and make that bond for the coming season,” Adil explained.

After an underwhelming inaugural campaign in the Hero ISL, Hyderabad FC hired Spaniard Albert Roca as their new head coach for the upcoming season. On Hyderabad’s new head coach, Adil said, “The best part of the team now is that we have hired Albert Roca as the head coach. He has experience here. He was part of Bengaluru FC a few years back. Luckily, we will be training under him. We already know what he exactly wants from us because we played the latter part of last season under him (With Roca as the advisor to Hyderabad’s coaching staff). Most of what the coaching staff wants from us is already clear.”

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