Gouramangi Singh: Hero ISL has made Indian football more professional
Veteran defender Gouramangi Singh believes that football in India has grown leaps and bounds ever since the inception of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) in 2014. The former Indian international feels that the league has helped players feel secure financially and made football in the country much more professional besides also providing a platform for domestic talents to rub shoulders with some household names in the game from across the globe.
"I have played in the ISL and I have seen the professionalism the league has. In the ISL, players have peace of mind and feel secured as they do not have to worry about contracts. The growth of Indian football has been through ISL and there is a steady pattern of professionalism now among all clubs," Gouramangi told IANS on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old is also of the opinion that Hero ISL clubs roping in foreign coaches to nurture talent has boosted the development of domestic players and helped them showcase their best for club and country alike. "Also, I feel some of the top coaches who have the experience are coaching Indian talents. It was there before also, but with the ISL it is a regular thing now,” Gouramangi said.
“All the teams in the ISL also compete with each other not just on the pitch but also off it to get better. Some of the training pitches are really good these days. We still have a long way to go but I feel we are (heading) in the right direction," he added while discussing the infrastructure that Hero ISL clubs possess.
One of the finest defenders in the country during his prime, Gouramangi was a part of the first three Hero ISL seasons. He represented Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural season that saw the Marina Machans top the league phase before exiting in the semi-finals. He spent the next two seasons with FC Pune City and made 20 appearances for the Stallions.