ISL forms a power base for the success of the national team – Staikos Vergetis

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season is special in many regards. In addition to being the 10th season of the competition, this edition of the tournament also marks the first time a club secured promotion to the ISL with I-League Champions Punjab FC.

Whilst their initial run in the top-tier was riddled with adjustments and close encounters, they have produced promising performances in the second half of the campaign and are very much in the race for playoffs this season and Head Coach Staikos Vergetis is surely looking forward to it. Punjab FC has won thrice in their last five games, including successive 3-1 wins against Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC. Their latest defeat was a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Mumbai City FC, a game where they led the Islanders for a large portion of the match.

Coach Staikos Vergetis talks about their promotion, ISL and the young Indian players.

“Will never forget the I-League win”

He suggested that the entire ecosystem at Punjab FC has developed a nice synergy and coordination over the last two years. The players understand the needs of the support staff and it works vice-versa as well, helping them pack a punch above their weight more often than not. He fondly recollected on their time back in the I-League, where he underwent a wave of emotions both as a human as well as a coach before some key matches that sealed their promotion to the ISL.

“As a human being, I had so many moments, emotions, and powerful moments that we lived through last year. It’s not only the celebration and fiesta. It’s the emotions in the dressing room, the emotions before big games, team spirit, and it’s all one family, and nobody can break the family. I work very well with the players, and my players work very well with the staff. The staff keep the team united and it keeps the spirit fantastic. As a coach, I show the improvement of my team. We improve our players individually, and the team collectively. The I-League win was one championship in my coaching career that I will never forget,” Vergetis explained.

“ISL forms a power base for the success of the national team”

Punjab FC has a host of domestic players at their disposal with impressive potential. The likes of Melroy Melwin Assisi, Suresh Meitei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Leon Augustine, Prasanth Karuthadathkuni, amongst others, have played the perfect foil complementing the strengths of their seasoned international counterparts. From a broader perspective, Vergetis has been impressed with the promise present across the ranks of multiple clubs, saying that it lays the foundation of the performances of the national team too.

“The first division of the championship in any country is the step that any player needs to take to progress to the national team. The Indian Super League in all factors is helping this step become more stable and make every player more confident. The Indian national team will have great success in the future, because the base, i.e. the ISL, helps create a power base for the national team to take the step up,” Vergetis said.

“Indian players are disciplined and diligent”

The 47-year-old Greek tactician joined the Punjab FC setup in 2022, and won them the I-League in his first season with the club. He explained that it took him some time to get acquainted with the mentality and perspective of Indian youngsters. Vergetis appreciated their keenness to learn, absorb ideas taught by the coach, and execute the same on the pitch to earn applause and laurels off the ground. Further, he explained that Indian players grow in belief when results start favouring them, which is what has become evident in the last couple of months in the ISL.

“I believe 100% that Indian players are very good receivers of information. They are very disciplined boys, who understand and do things that make you happy. This gives a lot of motivation and emotion. The youngsters want to learn a lot and they give their best to make their coach happy and improve themselves. By Christmas in my first season, the players were full of confidence because they saw that the results were coming. It is what I dream to see for Indian football, to see better results for the national team and also for clubs when they compete against their foreign counterparts,” Vergetis said.

Regardless of how the rest of the season pans out, Vergetis has done an admirably good job at the helm of Punjab FC. To give heavyweights like Bengaluru FC, Mumbai City FC, and Kerala Blasters FC amongst others a run for their money in their debut year in the top-tier is surely no mean feat. With five matches remaining, they are just four points behind (17) and the sixth-placed Bengaluru FC (21), having a game in hand (17) as compared to the Blues (18). Thus, they still have an outside chance of qualifying to the playoffs, with Vergetis & Co. placing their single-minded focus towards the same.

Punjab FC plays its next match in Guwahati, tomorrow, March 07 at 7:30 p.m. against playoffs rivals NorthEast United FC.

Where to Watch

Fans across the country can catch the action in English, Hindi, Bengali, and Malayalam. Fans can watch the action on linear channels like Sports18 Khel (Hindi), Sports18 1 HD (English), Sports18 3 SD (English, Hindi, Malayalam and Bengali), VH1 SD & HD (English), Surya Movies (Malayalam), News 18 Kerala (Malayalam – select matches) & DD Bangla (Bengali). In addition to this, as part of FSDL’s partnership with One Football, ISL live streams and highlights of all matches of the upcoming 2023-24 season will be delivered across more than 190 countries.

Click here to check the Fixture, News and Standing of Indian Super League (ISL).

Also Read: MFA Super League playoff: Ahaan Sharma, Kaif shine as Mumbai City FC U19 trump Bombay Gymkhana 4-1

Also Read: Oranje U23 seals playoff spot after Iron Born, KSA Junior stalemate in MFA Super League thriller

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian Football.

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…

Share

India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…

Share

Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.

Share

Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…

Share

BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…

Share

Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…

Share

The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…

Share

BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…

Share

India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…

Share

Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…

Share