FIFA World Cup

ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League team coaches look forward to cheers, fan excitement in stadiums again

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ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League LIVE: Indian Super League (ISL) team head coaches have unanimously expressed their delight at the return of…

ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League LIVE: Indian Super League (ISL) team head coaches have unanimously expressed their happiness over the return of stadium crowds for the 2022-23 edition of the tournament.Follow Indian Super League and ISL 2022-23 LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN.

Speaking at an event in Mumbai, coaches of the ISL teams said the experience of the tournament will be exciting with fans returning to the stadium. Last season, the final at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda, Goa welcomed fans back to the stadium and the atmosphere was loud and electric. This year, the ISL returns to the home and away format and it will mark the return of the most important element in football – the fans.

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Kerala Blasters, who were runners-up last season, had the bulk of the support in a sold-out match in the final, which was played at a neutral venue. Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic recalled the “yellow wall” he saw that night.
“It was a pleasure to see them in the final,” said Vukomanovic. “It was a pleasure that they came there and supported us, to get that feeling back after such a long time. We are happy that we are coming back to our stadiums, and especially with the fans, because I think that the the football we play is for the fans, he added.

ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League team coaches look forward to cheers, fan excitement in stadiums again

ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League team coaches look forward to cheers, fan excitement in stadiums again

Blasters’ fan contingent is expected to turn out at their peak when the tournament begins from October 7 in Kochi, where Kerala Blasters host East Bengal. The home and away dynamic of the tournament will be in full force again this season. Mumbai City FC coach Des Buckingham said fans’ presence during the recently concluded Durand Cup was a testament to their influence.

“We played three games with what I think were 15 to 20 thousand people in the stadiums and there’s nothing more exciting than hearing that roar from a crowd. Whether it’s a player breaking through with an opportunity to score, or a goalkeeper making a match-winning save, you feel that energy. You feel that excitement from the touchline and you can definitely see it in the pace of the game for the players,” he said.

The support of thousands of fans, despite the majority of teams not playing in their home stadiums in the Durand Cup, was a sign of what was to come in the coming season. One match where such scenes are almost guaranteed is the Kolkata derby, which takes place on October 29 and is expected to be at its best. ATK Mohun Bagan coach Juan Ferrando said success would mean nothing without the fans.

“Fans are very important to us. Football without fans is nothing. For us it is very important to have them back in the stadium and have their support. The success of the club and the team is for the fans,” he said.

Apart from the Durand Cup experience, some coaches, like Bengaluru FC’s Simon Grayson, have already been able to feel the experience of having home advantage from chanting supporters. Grayson said that was just a small sample of things to come.

“We had an open practice day before we went to the Durand Cup and we sampled some of the noise of about 3 or 4 hundred people — never mind the full house we expect for the first game against Northeast,” Grayson said.

“Now we have to be back home. The West Block blues fans will definitely support the players, they will get behind the team,” added the BFC Head Coach.

The coaches also had high praise for the new structure of the Indian domestic calendar for this season. The Durand Cup opened the season, and is now followed by the ISL, before the Super Cup closes it in April. This will mean that the season is nine months long, with each ISL team playing at least 27 matches during the season. The number of domestic matches will be in line with AFC rules and ensure a holistic development cycle for Indian players, as well as provide more opportunities for fans to cheer on their favorite team.

ISL 2022 LIVE: Indian Super League team coaches look forward to cheers, fan excitement in stadiums again

Follow Indian Super League and ISL 2022-23 LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN.

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