Calcutta: There was some great news for the thousands who had gathered at the East Bengal ground to celebrate their stupendous success last season.
Kevin Jackson, their South African trainer, has been given an extension of five months. He was initially appointed for one month, but following requests from club officials to the chairman of the UB Group, Vijay Mallya, he was given the extension.
“The officials requested to keep Kevin for a year. I told them they can have him for six months. Then we will decide according to the situation,” Mallya, who was made honorary life member of the club, said after the felicitation of the NFL winning players and coach Subhas Bhowmick.
Also felicitated were players of the under-19 NFL winning team and coach Tarun Dey.
Mallya added he will sanction an extra sum for the club for its ASEAN Cup and AFC Champions League assignments. “In fact, I’ll be with the team when they play at the ASEAN Cup in Indonesia next month,” he said.
Club president Pranab Dasgupta thanked everyone for braving the rain and staying for three hours to witness the felicitation of the players. “After beating everyone on the ground, we’ve beaten the weather gods as well,” he said.
Former great Ahmed Khan, who was the chief guest, said: “It’s a great moment. I’m privileged to be a part of it.”
Among other greats, there was Chuni Goswami. “Mohun Bagan should learn from the way East Bengal have worked as a unit,” Goswami said. Coach Bhowmick thanked the officials for co-operating with him in every way. “This success would never have been possible without their co-operation,” he said.