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Bhaichung Bhutia to coach the Sikkim team for 2018 Santosh Trophy

Bhaichung Bhutia to coach the Sikkim team for 2018 Santosh Trophy

Nazrin Mather

Published: 16 Jan 2018 9:35 AM GMT
The Sikkimese sniper and former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia will be seen in a new role during the Santosh Trophy later this month. Bhaichung has decided to coach his home state, Sikkim for the tournament. Clubbed in the East Zone, Sikkim will have hosts Bihar and Orissa in their group in Patna. Defending champions Bengal are also in the East Zone with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the final rounds. The former India captain told The Telegraph from Goa, "Yes, I have decided to coach Sikkim this time.' Source: Indian Express Bhaichung, who led India for a record 11 between the years 2000 and 2011 told the press, "This year, I have been active in the Sikkim Football Association and played a role in organising the local league. Never before we had such a big league and it was a huge success.' In the Sikkim league, Bhaichung's team, United Sikkim, emerged as champions and 15 of their players are in the coaching camp for the Santosh Trophy, which began a week ago. He added, "I am in Goa and one my assistants is looking after the camp. Tomorrow I am going back to Sikkim. If we win the group, then I, in all probability, will continue to coach Sikkim in the final round also...This Sikkim team has only local players. There is no outsider. They are very talented and it is a joy to coach them.' Bhaichung has to date, not coached any team for a full season but said he has enough experience by now. He laughed and said to the press, "When United Sikkim was in the I-League, I coached them for a few matches. Perhaps I was the only person in the world, who was the owner, coach and a player for the same team.' The former sniper star, nevertheless, made it clear that he had no immediate plan to get into coaching on a long-term basis. He told the press, "I have done the basic coaching license and time permitted, I would like to go for higher license courses. But if I do it, I would do it for my own sake. Maybe, I will be able to contribute something to football.' Bhutia who is considered to be the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena would definitely be a good and efficient coach and his motherland is sure in for some mesmerizing goals and shots this Santosh Trophy!
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