Crystal Palace academy coach Rob Quinn believes that the Next Gen Cup is the perfect platform for young Indian footballers to feature in the Premier League one day. Crystal Palace beat Kerala Blasters 4-1 in the semi-finals. The Next Generation Cup, 2022, hosted by the Premier League as part of their long-term partnership with Football Sports Development (FSDL) featured the reserve sides of Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru along with five Premier League academy teams and one team from South Africa. Bengaluru FC lost to Nottingham Forest in the Next Gen Midlands Group A game.
“Why not is the question. There should not be any reason why not,” Rob Quinn said about the Next Gen Cup. “The Next Generation Cup is going to provide Indian youngsters the exposure to the levels of what they can hope to achieve one day. There is definitely some optimism I think. Kerala Blasters made for a really good physical challenge for us. I think they were resolute and disciplined. They made it hard for us to break through. We had to show a lot of patience because they were hard to break down.”
“Getting the young boys and girls exposed to good coaching early is crucial. I know they are trying to build up the level of infrastructure for grassroots football in India, which is brilliant. I am sure there will be lots of willing participants to get better,” he added. “Youth development is essential to bring in the right structure and support. You need to bring in the correct funding to give the young boys and girls the best chance to progress. You need constant players coming in. In terms of the youth, they are the ones that bring in the energy.”