Houghton asks Indian footballers to target Swedish clubs

June 24th, 2009 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Coach Bob Houghton has persuaded Indian footballers to shift their focus from America’s Major Soccer League (MLS) to Swedish league as it will present them with more opportunities.
The coach has personally asked players’ agent Eddie Rock, who has signed up goalkeeper Subrata Paul, defender Gourmangi Singh, midfielders Steven Dias and N.P. Pradeep, to look out for Swedish clubs.

“Bob has asked our agent Eddie to see if we can find some clubs in Sweden. From his personal experience Bob felt that playing in Sweden will be more beneficial than in MLS,” Dias said.

Houghton had coaching experience in both the countries but Sweden is more close to his heart because he had spent six seasons there with Malmo from 1974-79.

During his stay at Malmo, Houghton took the club to the European Cup final in 1979 and also helped them win four national championships besides finishing runner-up twice.

Houghton, who had coached Colorado Rapids in the US, has always maintained that it is the case of Indian players taking the first plunge and others to follow suit.

Pradeep concurred with Houghton and said that playing in Europe will open up a world of opportunities for Indian footballers.

“Everyone knows about the standard of football in Europe. It will make a lot of difference to our game,” he said.

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