Tim Cahill gave some encouraging words on Indian football.

The Indian Super League(ISL) media day was held in the Novotel Hotel, Kolkata on Saturday. The Eastern teams of the competition in the guise of ATK, Jamshedpur FC, and NorthEast United interacted with the media prior to the season’s kick-off on 29th October. Hosts ATK seemed to be brimming with confidence, with players Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Gerson Viera displaying happy faces with new coach Steve Coppell.

Coppell seemed to be happy with his revamped squad this season and said, “Well, from my point of view, I would always prefer to have players who have made this journey before. I have comfort in knowing the players have the capability of handling the conditions of the ISL. Playing away from home for a long time can be a challenge for new, young players.

“The players we’ve signed have done the journey before and we know they are mentally and physically capable, as well as capable of consistently playing well for us,” he added.

The players displayed happy faces during the presentation

Talking about the pressure on him this season, “With seven days to go, I think every coach feels the same pressure. You hope the team does well and in terms of pressure, we are all under a lot of heat. I know as every coach does that you get paid to win football games. If you win, you will remain in the position and if you lose, then you lose your job. I accept that conditions and look forward to the upcoming campaign. The club knows how to win and we have all the necessary ingredients to thrive this season.”

Coppell also spoke on the type of football which can be expected from him this season, saying: “Well, the approach is always to try and win the game. The actual style is very much decided by the quality of players. We hope that we are prepared and have to play in a style which gives our more creative players to be creative. You look at all the best teams throughout the world, they try and get the ball to their creative players as much as possible and we’ll look to do the same. I know Kerala will be strong but we will be ready.”

NorthEast United’s gaffer Eelco Schattorie seemed positive and brushed off all the negativity revolving his club. He spoke about the team’s attitude before the season kicks off and said, “Until now, it’s been nice. Things have been going on really well. It’s never the most comfortable situation for footballers during the preseason.” 

Eelco has a lot of pressure to qualify for the playoffs this season and he realizes that, as he explained: “The challenges in this season are a huge pressure on me. If you never qualified and are asked to do so, then you are bound to be under pressure.  All the 10 teams have the same goal to win the tournament, but only one team will reach that goal. My goal is to work hard, implement young players and make them grow.”

“The main problem with young players is inconstancy and my role is to prevent that from happening. What happens on the field is a process. The Taj Mahal wasn’t built in my day, but in many years but is still standing. So for me, if you want to build something it takes time”. he explained.


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Eelco also gave encouraging signs for fans by stating on the kind of football which can be expected this season, “I am known for playing attacking football. But I prefer to play productive football. I’m not someone to hang back and counter attack but to dominate. But for that, you need to have the deal with the qualities you have in the team. My main goal is to win and not lose. I want to be progressive and not negative”.

But all the spotlight was on Jamshedpur’s Tim Cahill, who represented his side on the day. He seems to be very involved with the club right now and spoke positively about his role to the media. He spoke about his decision to play in the league and said, “I’m excited to join Jamshedpur in the ISL. When I was shown the portfolio for the club, the professionalism, the academy and the future for this football club was very important. We have no distractions as players and have a very good vision for the growth of Indian Football. Me and Subrata can use our experience to help the young players grow.”

Cahill emphasized on his need for professionalism being of utmost importance in his decision to come to India. He explained, “I think I’ve played in all parts of Asia. One of the biggest things I wanted when coming to India was professionalism. But there has been no complaint regarding that and I appreciate the Tata groups work on that. I went to the TFA Academy with the manager to inspire the players.”

“Some of the players never rode an airplane before but they could go to Madrid and train at the Atletico Madrid playing ground. For us, we have to impress our fans and make them happy. We have good players coming into the league with a  lot of foreigners who will help the talent. The structure at Jamshedpur is fantastic and I can only speak good things about my club.” He added.

Finally, Cahill added some exciting words for the Steelers’ fan by signing out on a bright note and saying, “We have to prepare well, we have to give our best I’m focused on giving my best personally. But one thing is for certain is that when I play, I won’t be holding back.”