Kolkata football giants East Bengal appointed 38-year-old Francisco Jose Bruto Da Costa as their new coach for the upcoming season. It is still not clear whether East Bengal will play in the top tier football or the I-League. Last season Spaniard coach Mario Rivera was in charge of East Bengal and the club finished runners-up in the truncated I-League.
"East Bengal is delighted to confirm the signing of new coach Francisco Jose Bruto Da Costa," the red-and-gold brigade announced on their official Twitter handle.
Francisco was the deputy to Nelo Vingada at Northeast United FC in ISL 2016. An AFC 'A' Licence holder from Jamshedpur in 2008, Francisco has not been appointed head coach by the East Bengal and it could well happen that the red and gold will use him as an assistant coach as and when they finally get into the Indian Super League.
One of the youngest coaches in the country, Francisco took his first strides in coaching as a 20-year-old with Salcete FC. The Margao-resident then headed the youth development setup of Salgaocar. He has been the former youth coach of India's U-14, U-17 and U-19 teams as well as AIFF's Elite Academy.
Following their split with Quess Corp, the century-old club have already got their sporting rights back and are believed to be in talks with Singapore-based Universal Success Enterprises Limited owned by Kolkata-born NRI Prasoon Mukherjee.
However that deal is far from being sealed. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is also keen for the red-and-gold's foray into the ISL and the state government is helping out in roping in an investor.
Their arch-rivals Mohun Bagan are set to debut after their merger with ATK and it remains to be seen whether the top-tier league will see the much-anticipated Kolkata derby.