Hughes: The way the ISL sets up, its more of a tournament than a league.
The former Newcastle United centre-back mentioned that the players plying their trade in the Australian league are of a good standard and most importantly, are fit…
Kerala Blasters’ marquee signing Aaron Hughes believes that while they are similarities between Australia’s A-League and the Indian Super League (ISL), the former is of a higher standard due to the players plying their trade.
Hughes was in action for Melbourne City last season where he managed only six appearances and nicked a goal for the A-League side.
“I think the A-League has been going a little bit longer so I guess with anything with more experience, you iron out little problems that creep up but that’s only natural. But they are both competitive leagues. The level there in Australia is good, the standard of players is good and they’re fit lads. There isn’t a lot between the teams and hence the margins between winning and losing are very small which is similar to here.
“I don’t think there’s a lot between the teams here. Obviously with the conditions it makes it tough here. So yes, there are similarities but with since the A-League just a little older they have the edge,” he told Goal.
Australia is one of the few countries where there isn’t a provision for relegation. The ISL currently is a competition approved by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and doesn’t have the official status, which the I-League enjoys. As per the proposed roadmap for Indian football, the ISL, after the addition of tttwo-to-three more teams, would become the country’s premier league but there would be no promotion or relegation for a few years.
Hughes was asked to comment if the introduction of relegation would aid in improving the competition as an entity.
“I think you probably need more teams for that. The way the ISL sets up, it’s more of a tournament than a league. There are only eight teams here and hence not a lot of games
“So I think as the league grows and more teams get at it and obviously with TV there’s a lot of money that goes into it, it begins to attract players and the level of the local players will go up and consequently it will be a ‘snow ball effect’. As this top league grows, teams in the lower leagues will also get better,” he explained.