Indian Coaches have a future in the ISL after new rules

About Football Express India - Indian Super League - I-League

The Indian Super League is all set to commence from the 19th of November. The competition is going to be played in Goa, for its entirety. New rules have come into the fray for this edition of the ISL. The new rules have focussed on giving more time to the Indian contingent of the squad. Only 4 foreign players will be allowed to be on the field.

A team must now field 7 Indian players at all times. This new rule has brought is a boost to the youngsters wanting to break through to the first team. This will eventually give the aspiring Indian coaches one day to coach in the Indian Super League.

There has always been a lack of Indian coaches among the Indian Football Circuit. The national team itself has been managed by international men. This shows that there has been a lack of credible Indian Coaches for the important hot seats in the country. The ISL teams also have been coached by men who are alien to the Indian domestic circuit.

However, there is a change in this new season. This season, we are going to see an Indian coach on an ISL team for the first time.


The experienced campaigner Khalid Jamil is going to be taking over the reins at NorthEast United FC. This is the first time that we are going to withness an Indian at the hot seat of a manager in an ISL club. He is going to be the full-time manager, after being given the role of interim manager for the 2020-21 season.

Jamil went on an unbeaten run of 10 games and was the first Indian manager to lead an ISL franchise to the playoffs. He also led Aizwal FC to the I-league title in the 2016-17 season.


Syed Sabir Pasha, the former head coach of the AIFF Elite Academy has underseen the unearthing of new talents at the grass-root level. He has also been the assistant coach for Chennaiyin FC since 2016 alongside Bojan Ofenbeher.

His eye for young talents has benefitted the franchise from Chennai. Players like Anirudh Thapa and Jerry Lalrinzuala have been spotted by the shrewd tactician i.e Syed Sabir Pasha.


Thangboi Singto has also played his part in helping three franchises of the ISL. Odisha FC, Kerala Blasters, and Hyderabad FC have reasons to be thankful to Singto for his contribution towards the progression of these clubs.

He also has experience at a technical level and has become well equipped with experience to maybe coach one of the ISL franchises in the future.


“It’s like the chicken and egg story, we cannot expect miracles without giving them a chance. We need to have faith in Indian coaches, we need to have confidence and put them in those positions. We need to start somewhere and now coaches shadowing foreign coaches for quite some time has helped and they have learned about the job. – Dinesh Nair, founder-director of the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC)

The signs are encouraging for any aspiring Indian who wants to coach a football team in India one day. Since the beginning, there has been a lack of opportunities for Indians to come into the picture of the Indian Football Circuit. Though recently, there have been live examples to take inspiration from.

Indian Football is currently growing as a brand. The signs really are encouraging for the future and now one can finally dream of being a part of a project as big as the Indian Football Circuit.

Follow our Twitter for regular football news and updates.

For more sports updates, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Youtube.

To Top