Newly-appointed Jamshedpur FC head coach Owen Coyle may have been to the steel city just once, but the Englishman hasn’t forgotten his experience at the “Furnace”, the affectionate title for the JRD Tata Sports Complex.
“Well, Jamshedpur is magnificent. It’s good as any other city I’ve been to. I loved the wonderful support of the fans for the home side and also the hospitality. The playing surface at the Furnace was superb and the stadium and training facilities are fantastic. It’s a wonderful opportunity and I am really excited to be on the JFC board,” said the 54-year-old, joining in at an online press meet on Friday from his home at Langho, 30km from Manchester.
Jamshedpur FC chairman and vice-president (corporate services), Tata Steel, Chanakya Chaudhary, club CEO Mukul Choudhari and chief of Tata Steel sports wing Farzan Heerjee were also present at the virtual press meet.
The Telegraph Online had reported on August 3 that Coyle was likely to be the JFC head coach.
Coyle, who had been to Jamshedpur as coach of Chennaiyin FC in a match against JFC last year, added playing the Indian Super League (ISL) at a single venue would be totally challenging. “But everybody (read franchises) will be on the same page. It will be a level-playing field for every team. I would like to maximise the opportunity,” he added.
On how difficult it was to leave Chennaiyin FC, the JFC head coach said, “Chennaiyin FC is a wonderful club and the people are also great. I had a good time with the club,” he recalled.
The former Burnley and Bolton Wanderers manager had a highly successful stint with Chennaiyin FC. He steered the team to the final in the last season.
Coyle, an avid golfer who replaced Spaniard Antonio Iriondo, added he has plans to work for the ongoing grassroots football programme of JFC and would be happy to nurture young talent and see that their potential grows to the maximum.
Welcoming the head coach, JFC chairman termed Coyle as the “White Star” who lifted Chennaiyin FC from rock-bottom. “We are looking at a top 2 finish under Coyle. We are sure he is in tune with our vision and thoughts.” Chaudhary added.
JFC CEO Choudhari said while dealing with the pandemic, all club officials had been working in the background. “We’ll be coming up with more announcements later this week,” he added
On dealing with Covid during the tournament, he said it would be very demanding. “Adhering to social distancing guidelines, travel and training logistics will have to be taken care of,” Choudhari added.