I-League 2018-19: Mohun Bagan appoint Khalid Jamil as new manager
Mohun Bagan have signed Khalid Jamil as their next coach for the remainder of the season. This will be the second stint for the Mumbaikar in this city, having coached arch-rivals East Bengal for a single season.
Immediately after Sankarlal Chakroborty’s resignation, Mohun Bagan officials started looking for a coach who could join as soon as possible. Few names like Derrick Pereira and Biswajit Bhattacharya and club legend Jose Ramirez Barreto were being considered.
It is learned that Derrick, who is currently associated with Indian Super League club FC Goa and is managing I-League second division team FC Goa Reserves, is unwilling to leave his job. He also has no experience of coaching in Kolkata. Biswajit, who coached East Bengal before Jamil, is also unwilling to start a new venture.
Finally, the officials zeroed in on Jamil, who has the experience to work with a big club. Jamil, who was sacked after East Bengal’s dismal performance last season, was desperate to come back to Kolkata.
"With immense pleasure, we wish to inform you that Mr. Khalid Jamil has been appointed as the new Head Coach of Mohun Bagan Senior Football Team for the remainder of 2018-2019 football season," Mohun Bagan said in a statement.
"Please note that the Team will resume training on Tuesday, 8th January 2019 at 10:00 am at Mohun Bagan Athletic Club Ground under the new Head Coach."
"Tomorrow he will address the press post the official pre-match press conference."
In an interview last year, Jamil even said that every coach dreams of managing sides like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
After his bitter stint with East Bengal, Jamil will have a point to prove at the Mariners. Jamil will have a chance to prove himself when Mohun Bagan host East Bengal on January 27.
However, Jamil needs to sort out Mohun Bagan’s problem immediately. The green and maroon have back-to-back matches against home against Minerva Punjab FC (January 9) and NEROCA FC (January 12).
Mohun Bagan looked like a depleted side as far as their defence is concerned. The strikers have also not found their scoring boots quite regularly, which is definitely hurting the team’s chances.
This will probably be the first time that Jamil is taking the mantle of a team midway in the season. After finishing his playing career, Jamil took up the coaching responsibility of now-defunct side Mumbai FC. He went on to coach them for six years before joining Aizawl FC in 2015.
He led Aizawl FC to their historic I-League back in 2016, what was considered as the biggest triumph to have ever happened in the history of Indian football. Some compared them with Leicester City, who won the English Premier League in the same manner in 2015.
Jamil signed for East Bengal in the next season along with some Aizawl FC players, including Mahmoud Al Amna, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Landanmawia Ralte etc.
The Kuwait-born Indian is a tactically superior coach but has found little success in coaching with the big clubs.
Like East Bengal, the supporter’s expectation will be bigger in Mohun Bagan too. It now needs to be seen how Jamil copes up with the pressure and revive their campaign.