Mumbai City FC have confirmed that head coach Des Buckingham has penned a two-year contract extension with the club. The English manager has been a revelation, with his outfit going undefeated in the Indian Super League season so far.
Buckingham joined the Islanders at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign. Before moving to Mumbai, he worked as an assistant coach for fellow City football group and A-League team Melbourne City FC.
Despite missing the playoff spot last season, the 37-year-old was given the time and resources to build a solid outfit. The Islanders consequently added the likes of Greg Stewart and Jorge Pereyra Diaz to their ranks ahead of the ongoing season.
Under Buckingham’s leadership, the Indian players have shown enormous improvement. Lallianzuala Chhangte is currently the Indian Super League’s top scorer this campaign, while the likes of Bipin Singh, Rahul Bheke, and Lalengmawia Ralte have emerged as key figures at the club.
Furthermore, Mumbai City FC became the first Indian club to win two games in the AFC Champions League in 2022. Although the Islanders missed out on a spot in the competition's knockout stages, they are presently the league leaders and performing at a high level.
Buckingham's side have also scored the most goals this season and are on track to win the ISL Shield in 2023.
“It has truly been an experience like no other” – Des Buckingham opens up on his stint at Mumbai City FC
Des Buckingham has gone from strength to strength at Mumbai City FC. Speaking to the club's official website after signing a new deal, the Englishman revealed his gratitude to the Islanders. He said:
“It gives me great pleasure to continue my time here at Mumbai City Football Club. When I came in 15 months ago, it was a new challenge for me but from the very first day, the club, the staff and the players have trusted me and supported me so well – I cannot thank them enough.
"In my time here, I have learned a lot about the club, the players, the city of Mumbai and the culture. It has truly been an experience like no other.”
Mumbai City FC are currently on the cusp of achieving a play-off spot. However, they will face a tough challenge from the likes of Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters for the Indian Super League shield.
The side's upcoming game against the Tuskers on Sunday (January 8) is set to be a mouth-watering clash, and a victory could steer them clear of their closest rivals.