FORMER MUMBAI FC head coach Khalid Jamil has joined Aizawl FC as their new head coach ahead of the upcoming I-League 2016-17 season.
The 39 year old coach, a former Indian international, started his journey as a coach at Mumbai FC in 2009, and stayed with the club till the 2015-16 season. His spell with the Yellow Brigade was the longest stint any coach has had with an Indian top division club.
During his time at Mumbai, he pulled the club through a tough period when they didn't have a home ground available in their city and managed to avoid relegation, until the club slowly settled into a more competitive status after their return to the Cooperage Stadium in 2014-15.
Criticisms of his coaching style were mostly about his ultra-defensive style which he often employed to grind out favourable results - a high number of them being draws - against some of the more attacking teams. He was also involved in some controversies; the most infamous of them being the 'Bottlegate Scandal' at Bengaluru's Kanteerava Stadium.
During the summer, Mumbai FC announced they were parting ways with Mr Jamil, eventually appointing veteran coach Santosh Kashyap as their manager.
Aizawl FC, who had been relegated last season, were reinstated into the top division league earlier, and played in the Mizoram Premier League under longtime club coach Mala. But ahead of I-League they have chosen to look towards a licensed coach. It will be interesting to see how Jamil manages to channel the Aizawl FC squad; a team known for a vibrant midfield and fast-passing game that's very different from the kind of football usually played by Mumbai FC under Jamil.
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