‘Inclusive culture’ can inspire Indian youngsters to take up football, says Premier League legend Wes Morgan

Leicester City FC’s Premier League-winning captain Wes Morgan believes aspiring Indian youngsters can take advantage of the globalisation of modern football to achieve their dreams.

Morgan was optimistic about how Indian football can take forward steps through Football Sports Development Limited’s (FSDL) partnership with the Premier League.

“Hopefully the partnership with the Premier League and English football overall can inspire the youngsters in India who are playing and are fans of the game a lot. Surely many of them catch the games on television and they will have their favourite players and teams,” Morgan said.

“I think football has opened up more and more and become inclusive. Hopefully, they are seeing players like themselves on the pitch, giving them the confidence to better their game and hopefully one day play in the Premier League or whichever league they want to play in,” the former defender said.

Morgan was impressed with emerging Indian players of the Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC reserve team squads. The 38-year-old interacted with the players, who are in the United Kingdom to participate in the Next Generation Cup, 2022.

“It has been fantastic to speak to the Bengaluru and Kerala Blasters boys. They looked very engaged and interested to hear what we were talking about. Hopefully, we have passed on some knowledge or experiences that might help them from our lives that they could implement and themselves become better footballers,” the former Jamaica international said.

The Next Generation Cup is part of the longstanding partnership between Premier League and FSDL to support the development of football in India. Through the partnership, which began eight years ago, the two bodies have continued to work together to share knowledge and expertise in all areas of the game including governance, talent development, commercial growth, administration, and wider community development.

Morgan also reflected on how modern-day football has transcended boundaries. The knowledge-sharing program between the English and Indian football ecosystems will only help the sport evolve, Morgan opined.

“Football today is multi-cultural. You are playing with people from all over the world, proud of their own nationalities. Understanding and appreciating each other’s cultures which might be different is very important. Football is an inclusive sport and you want everyone playing the game to be comfortable. Sharing the knowledge and culture amongst one another will only help footballers on their journey,” Morgan said.

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