Bengaluru, September 12: Clubs can sign any number of youth players into their reserve squad and offer them a better chance of making it to the first team, thanks to the changes in the player regulations introduced for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
According to reports, clubs will be now allowed to register a minimum of 22 players and a maximum of 25 in the main squad with seven spots reserved for overseas signings.
Until now, the ISL sides had to pick five youth players before naming the full squad. This did not permit the youth players not picked initially to break into the first team even if they perform steadily for the reserve squad.
The ISL's earlier guideline drives away a chance for an improving young talent to prove himself with the first team and also takes away the urge for a club to fund in its youth. But with the current regulation, every club will see that cap lifted and all the sides will now be permitted to enrol as many youth team players in the reserve squad as they want.
Furthermore, if there's an injury to a domestic player in the main squad, the club will have the permission to replace him with a member of the youth or reserve squads, which will solely consist of domestic talents.
Additionally, just like the last year, all the clubs will also be allowed to change a domestic player from the main squad after every fifth match (excluding play-offs) and 24 hours before the game. This means that an Indian player can be added or removed from the main squad every fifth match, tenth match and so on, which can bring in more window for competition among the local talents.
The changes in the youth program will surely be beneficial to the Indian youngsters as they would get more playing time in the premier division of the country. It's a welcome change for Indian football now that the youth squads are given more importance than each club's foreign signings.