East Bengal's dismantling of Aizawl FC continues, new man signs record deal
What’s the story?
East Bengal’s pursuit of a new head coach has run its race as Khalid Jamil has finally signed on the dotted lines. This will make Jamil the highest paid Indian coach in history.
The man who won the I-League title last season has put pen to paper on a two-year contract that will see him earn Rs 1.25 crores, easily establishing Jamil as the premier Indian coach around.
Jamil led Aizawl FC to a stunning I-League title win in 2016/17 after the club suffered relegation the previous season, before being reinstated in the top flight. The former Mumbai FC coach was only appointed at the helm of the Mizoram outfit before the 2016/17 season, therefore, his impact at the club in such a short span of time is seemingly incredible.
East Bengal, meanwhile, have been victims of a kneejerk policy that has once again put the club in a chaos of late. English head coach Trevor Morgan was sacked midway through the 2016/17 campaign and the club have been on the lookout for his permanent replacement since.
The heart of the matter
Jamil arrived in Kolkata earlier today in the afternoon from Mumbai. The former India international will be in the “City of Joy” for only one day before heading back. His appointment comes on the back of East Bengal already signing a number of Aizawl’s title-winning players from last season.
Brandon Vanlalremdika, Mahmoud Al Amna, Lalramchullova and Kingsley Eze have moved to the Red and Golds from Aizawl and Jamil is now all set to follow them.
East Bengal had a disappointing campaign last season, having finished third in the league and got knocked out of the Federation Cup in the semis by Mohun Bagan. Consequently, the retooling of personnel at the club was inevitable.
After enduring a forgettable 2016/17 season, East Bengal have strengthened their playing squad and upgraded their staff before the Calcutta Football League kicks off next month.
The Red and Golds have won the domestic premier league seven times on the spin since 2010 and will once again look to defend it this year. Their movement on the recruitment front clearly shows intent.
Aizawl, meanwhile, have had talks with former Shillong Lajong head coach Thangboi Singto over a possible deal to replace Jamil.
With East Bengal breaking the bank to lure Jamil from Aizawl, it remains to be seen whether the current I-League champion can inspire the Red and Golds to end their barren run in the national league. He has already got a small group of players from Aizawl and more are to follow if reports are to be believed.
After a trophyless first half of the year, exciting times are around the corner for East Bengal, who can aim for the skies with Jamil in charge after getting the snub from the Indian Super League recently.