Hyderabad FC winger Joel Chianese feels that Indian footballers need to be more professional from a younger age. Chianese was a vital cog in Hyderabad FC’s rousing campaign last year, in which they nearly made it to the semi-finals. Following a brief run with Perth Glory FC, the Australian is back in India to tie up loose ends for the Nizams.
Australian players look to have taken India as a home away from home. There has been a convergence into the Indian Super League, with it working as a kick-starter for generations to emulate. Though India is not a nation known for football, the chances and prospects seem quite bright as of now. The recent insurgence has managed to pull millions into the footballing set-up. It has become possible for players to pursue football here and such an example is Joel Chianese.
Having begun his career in the A-League, one of Asia’s biggest leagues, he may have never imagined that he would find himself in India down the line. A few years post aiding Perth Glory FC to an A-League title, the 31-year-old signed a contract with Hyderabad FC. Now, after a short loan stint with Perth Glory FC, Chianese has touched down back in India once more.
Needless to say, the two have varied playstyles, contrasting leagues and a difference in the standard of football. The distinction between the ISL and the A-League has not proven to be a problem for the player as he is ready for the challenge. “It wasn’t too difficult. I really enjoyed my time back in Australia and it allowed me to stay fit for this season in the ISL,” said Joel Chianese, speaking to SportsCafe.
Hyderabad FC and Joel Chianese to push youth
Unfortunately, Hyderabad FC narrowly missed out on qualification to the knock-outs last season. Chianese has understood where his side requires attention and is eager to assist them in achieving their target. “One thing we will work on is our goals conceded in transition once we lose the ball close to our goal. The rest we just need to build and improve on,” the Aussie added.
The adjustment in the foreign player rule was likely to happen. However, the changeover might not be smooth for Indian clubs. They rely heavily on overseas players to perform in important positions. Selections will now be a challenge for coaches and also designating positions to foreign enlistments makes the job no easier. Anyhow, the incoming recruits need to be on high alert to perform, else give up seeing game time.
“Yes. I feel it will be a big difference (the four-foreigner rule). Some teams may struggle more than others. Coaches may have some tough decisions to make at times with players starting/resting. When I play I will give 100% and aim to score and assist goals” the Australian spelt out.
After playing a complete season in India, Joel Chianese has more or less figured out how things work in the ISL. Of course, there are faults, which is normal. Nonetheless, heralding a change and rectification should be sought over repeating the same arrangement again and again. For this, the organizers and the players must be called out on.
“I think just the understanding of the game and football knowledge (needs to be improved). This goes a long way to understanding a system, formation, style of play that your coach wants you to play” stated the winger.
A substantial task ahead for youngsters
The Sunil Chhetri-era is nearing an end and it is time for fresh faces to carry on the tradition. Future batches should be the focus. But, with finite chances presently, the youngsters need to persevere and take full advantage when it dawns. However, the upcoming talents to also take case of a broader aspect.
“The young boys needs to be patient and wait for their chance. But they also need to be ready when that chance comes up. They need to learn to be professional from a younger age and understand football,” professed Chianese.
Given the ISL’s hectic timetable, players have limited recovery time with clubs playing nearly three matches a week. The situation is not ideal. Still, Chianese applauded the endeavors of the organisers to continue the competition in these trying times. In fact, he has always been for the league, similar to many Australians, with clubs mostly completing their Asian quota from ‘Down Under’.
“I think the league has does outstanding to make the ISL continue in these COVID times. It’s not ideal with small recovery time. There is little time to train tactics between games and the guys not playing often feel separated but we need to get through these tougher times and all will be fine” concluded Chianese.
Hyderabad FC kick off their 2021-22 Indian Super League campaign on November 23, against Chennaiyin FC.
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