Fijian football star Roy Krishna says he wants Indian Super League clubs to start scouting for talents in the Oceania region.
Krishna says that with multiple island countries already showcasing talents for the next platform, quality football players is what teams in the Indian Super League are looking for.
Much of India’s interest in Australian footballers is driven by a requirement that each team mandatorily signs a player from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) among its foreign contingent.
Several players from the A-League have moved to India, most notably Australian striker Jason Cummings, who guided Central Coast Mariners to an unprecedented A-League championship triumph and the movement of such stars to India hasn’t surprised Krishna.
“There is a lot of potential, not just in Australia but Oceania as well. You can see a lot of ISL teams are looking more to the A-League because there are better options compared to other leagues, but from Oceania, there will be young players,” the Odisha FC forward said during the pre-match media interaction on Friday, Times of India reported.
“They need opportunities. Hopefully, ISL clubs will look there because they have the potential.”
“If you are good enough, clubs should look into that (and sign players). Football is growing on our side and, hopefully, more players can come here,” said Krishna
The 35-year-old talismanic striker from Labasa said the future of Indian football is looking great but a lot of hard work is needed by ISL clubs.
“You can see when I first came here, compared to now, the league is growing rapidly.”
“Every season is getting tougher and this one will be more tougher with players who have come in and coaches who have returned to ISL. In terms of growth, you can see a lot of young players starting in big clubs which is a positive sign.”
After four successful seasons in India, Krishna was tempted to return to the A-League until Odisha made him change his mind.
“Of course, coach Sergio Lobera,” Krishna said when asked what kept him in India.
“As a player, you need to know the mindset of a coach, what he wants, what role to play.”
“I, of course, have dmired him when he was with Goa and Mumbai, and the way he plays, I love that. Under him, I can improve my football and knowledge. That was the big key point for me to come to Odisha.”
Meanwhile, Krishna’s Odisha FC lost 3-2 to Goa FC in an ISL fixture yesterday. Odisha FC will face Kerala Blasters at 2.30am on 28 October.