I-League 2018: Former ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy named as East Bengal head coach for upcoming season
Bastab Roy, who was until now acting as the assistant coach of Indian Super League club ATK, has joined Kolkata giants East Bengal as their new head coach for the 2018-19 season, the club announced on Friday. Roy, who will work under Technical Director Subash Bhowmick for the CFL and I-League in 2018-19, will succeed Khalid Jamil at the helm.
Roy has been with ATK for almost three years since 2015, a period in which he saw the club lift the ISL title once. He has worked under the likes of Antonio Habas, Teddy Sheringham and Jose Molina at ATK. Furthermore, he holds an AFC A-license in coaching which will help the Red and Golds meet the eligibility requirements to participate in national leagues and tournaments.
"The East Bengal job is challenging but I didn't have to think twice just because it was East Bengal. I am looking forward to working with Mr. Bhowmick," Roy said at the press conference.
"There is more of an opportunity here at East Bengal. The opportunity of an assistant coach in the ISL is very limited. Having said that, as a coach, I have to prove my worth," he explained why he left ATK for East Bengal.
"One thing I learned from ISL coaches is discipline. The pressure in East Bengal is more, fans expectations more and is more challenging. Maybe, Mr. Bhowmick thought he will be comfortable working with me that is why he chose me," he added.
Bhowmick, on his part, revealed how he got Roy to accept the role. "Initially, Bastab (Roy) rejected my offer. He was busy with ATK grassroots program. I had received seven applications from top Indian coaches. But later we spoke again and he agreed," he said.
"He has worked with two quality coaches like Molina and Habas. He has to understand that the pressure is immense. He has to learn how to handle that," he added.
The position was left vacant after Jamil was sacked following a disappointing season with East Bengal. The team's performance in the I-League was not as expected and in the final of the inaugural Super Cup, they were thrashed 0-4 by Bengaluru FC. The former Aizawl FC boss also had a fall out with Bhowmick towards the end of the season, which eventually led to his ouster.