Focus on Localization to lay strong football foundations for the future

Kids in action at Mumbai City FC's 5th Grassroots Festival at Cooperage Stadium

Compared to the massive popularity and success of Indian cricket, football still has a long way to go before it can reach a similar level in sporting terms. Nevertheless, progress is constantly being made throughout the subcontinent, as one of the most populous countries in the world aims to become a hotbed for future talents.

Still, those who lead and manage football at all levels must be open to innovative ideas, willing to embrace new concepts, and be able to adapt quickly as the sport evolves. There also needs to be greater investment, if India is to fully realize the huge potential to become a football powerhouse, firstly throughout the Asian continent and then on the world stage.

Football is widely considered to be a global game, although to achieve success in any given country, there also needs to be a strong focus on localization and country-specific needs at every level, if the sport is to continue growing in popularity. This is an approach often taken by other commercial entertainment sectors, including the online gaming and gambling industry.

Recently rebranded, Pure Win India is much more than just a catchy name, identifying the country where this online casino is focusing its efforts. This brand has fully localized gaming products and services for an Indian audience compared to other international operators. This includes banking options in Rupees and language options available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, and Telugu.

What this reflects is that for any activity, whether sporting or other entertainment options, localization is paramount for the success of any enterprise. The same applies with football, given that whilst attracting increasingly higher profile overseas players is always welcome, the emphasis and focus on developing Indian talents must never be overlooked.

The future strength and success of the Indian Super League are reliant on solid foundations, provided by grassroots football. This can range from providing quality coaching to get more people involved, to increased opportunities for older amateur players, who may have slipped through the nets cast by scouting networks.

Now there are more active and competitive leagues throughout India, grassroots football is gradually providing a constant stream of talent for the higher echelons of the game. With a continued focus on supporting and maintaining such a vital foundation, it shouldn’t be too long before the country begins exporting star players abroad. That in turn would have the effect of raising the profile of football in India.

Interestingly, of all the players to represent the national team in recent years, none have represented club teams outside India at the same time. Although, some have had opportunities to prove themselves overseas in the past. Star striker Sunil Chhetri had brief spells in other countries, first with Kansas City Wizards of the MLS in America, then with Sporting CP in Portugal, although neither were successful.

Despite having 42 caps for India, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has only played abroad with Norwegian club Stabæk. However, he made just 3 first team appearances between 2014 and 2017, before returning home to join Bengaluru. If the highest-profile Indian players can’t get better chances to play overseas, this indicates that while progress is being made, football standards in India still need to be raised significantly.

Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…


Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…


Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…


FC Hydra invites all aspiring footballers in Bengaluru for a Trial

FC Hydra will be holding trials for all the aspiring footballers for the upcoming KSFA C Division League. The club has previously held trials for the Women’s team for the…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Women’s Football Team on the 25th of February at Goan’s Sports Ground in Churchgate. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


IKF to dispense free international football exposure for children in India

India Khelo Football (IKF) is a non-profit platform aimed at providing kids from India a fair chance to pursue their dream of playing football internationally. IKF shares its vision to…


IDBI Bank to hold trials for a central defender

After successfully conducting their first round of trials on 21st November, MDFA Super Division outfit are now looking to conduct another trial in search of Central Defenders. With football resuming,…


Chedda Nagar FC set to conduct trials for MDFA Super Division

Chedda Nagar Football Fanatics will be conducting trials to reform their MDFA Super Division squad. Being established in 2011, Chedda Nagar is a renowned name in Mumbai football. The team…