Mumbai City FC coach Des Buckingham has hailed Indian footballers for the development they have showcased, especially in the 2021-22 Indian Super League season.
The Islanders enjoyed a historic AFC Champions League campaign, fighting toe-to-toe with Asia’s best clubs, despite suffering an underwhelming campaign on the domestic front.
Indian players in the squad were one of the biggest reasons for Mumbai City FC‘s AFC Champions League run and Buckingham is proud of that fact.
“(Impressed with) How keen and willing are players to do anything that they can to try and develop. That is the one thing that hit my straightaway. The real hunger and eagerness to better themselves – consistently – that was (notable),” said Des Buckingham, in a podcast with Spotify.
“The real hunger and the drive that they have on a daily basis, on how good that they can be. That is what I’ve seen in a lot of other places, but not as consistently as I’ve seen over a six-month period.”
Revealing his thoughts on his current Mumbai City FC squad and the future of Indian football, Buckingham concluded, “I’ve worked with the game for 20 years now, and the players I’ve worked with in Mumbai City FC, can be as good as some of the others I have worked with across the world.
“So, if similar to what we’ve done in Asia, if there is a similar framework around them to go and showcase what they can do, I think they’ll go on to do very well. So, I think it’s a very exciting time (for Indian football) and in the next five-year years they can go very big.”