ISL: All you need to know about Mumbai City FC's new coach Des Buckingham
Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC have announced Des Buckingham as their new head coach for the upcoming season, Here's what you need to know about the new coach in Indian Football.
Today Mumbai City FC announced the appointment of their new head coach in the form of Des Buckingham. He'll be replacing Sergio Lobera at the job, who can be referred to as one of the most successful coaches in the Indian Super League. Under the 44-year-old Spanish gaffer, the Islanders went on to win the League Winners' Shield as well as the ISL trophy last season. Prior to that, Lobera won the inaugural League Winners' Shield with FC Goa. City Football Group's arrival to Mumbai City FC saw the shift of staff and footballers from FC Goa to Mumbai City FC and Lobera got a chance to work again with his FC Goa students at Mumbai City FC. This time around, Lobera will probably be heading towards another club under the City Football Group.
With Des Buckingham's introduction to the side, one thing is clear. Mumbai City FC are targeting the zenith once again. Apart from the ISL, he'll also be leading the team in the AFC Champions League. He said on joining the club, "I am thrilled to be joining Mumbai City at such a successful period in the Club's history. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Australia, but the opportunity to take control of the defending ISL Champions was impossible to turn down. I'm looking forward to arriving in India and learning as much as I can about the Club, the players and the culture and continuing to work with colleagues at CFG to develop our young players and drive the team forward on and off the pitch."
Talking about the 36-year-old, Des Buckingham's coaching career may leave one awestruck. He became the youngest head coach of the A-League in 2016/17 at Wellington Phoenix when their head coach Ernie Merrick resigned from his job. Prior to that he was an assistant to Merrick. Buckingham also took charge of the then English Premier League club Stoke City as the assistant coach of their U-23 team. Buckingham joined Melbourne City FC, another club under City Football Group in September 2020 as their assistant coach and took charge on a few occasions when their head coach Patrick Kisnorbo was absent. In his tenure at the club, Melbourne City FC won both the A-League trophy as well as the Premiers Plate.
Apart from the various clubs, Buckingham has also managed New Zealand's U-23 side as well as been an assistant to their senior team. In his tenure with the U-23 side, he led the team to the round of 16 of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2019, where the team lost to Colombia in the tiebreaker. Under his guidance, the All Whites went on to register a 5-0 victory over Honduras. They won back to back games at a FIFA event for the first time, when in their next encounter they defeated Norway by 2-0, a team which enjoyed the like of Erling Haaland upfront. This was New Zealand's first ever victory against a European opponent. In 2020, Des Buckingham was awarded with the Men's Coach of the Year award, which is a major feather to his crown.
How Buckingham settles down at Mumbai City FC and works out his methods is now to be seen.
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