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Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Top flight East Bengal set eyes on Robbie Fowler

Former India captain Rennedy Singh could be appointed assistant coach

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 28.09.20, 01:36 AM
Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler Wikipedia

Former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has emerged as the front runner to become the coach of East Bengal Football Club, who were officially announced as the 11th team of Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday.

Fowler had a successful managerial stint with Brisbane Roar. He took over the A-League side, who had finished second from bottom the previous season, and guided them to the play-offs and fourth position in the league before the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Discussions are still on with some renowned coaches. There are some technical issues which need to be sorted out. But yes, Fowler’s name is very much there. We will announce our coach by Wednesday,” one source told The Telegraph.

Former India captain Rennedy Singh could be appointed assistant coach.

East Bengal’s inclusion will be a huge boost to the league, which already has seen Mohun Bagan’s entry, joining hands with ATK. The Derby between the two will be the most-awaited clash of the ISL, to be held in Goa this time behind closed doors.

“It is such a happy and proud moment for ISL as we welcome East Bengal FC and their millions of fans into the league. The inclusion of both the legacy clubs, i.e. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan) opens limitless possibilities for Indian football,” Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which runs the league, said in a statement.

The ball was set rolling less than a month ago by chief minister Mamata Banerjee when she announced Hari Mohan Bangur-owned Shree Cement as the club’s majority stakeholder. The cement company holds 76 per cent stake, while East Bengal has 24 per cent.

Shree Cement officials said East Bengal would field a competitive team but agreed that there is very little time to arrange everything.

“Yes, it’s true we hardly have time, but we are confident of building a competitive side,” someone who is following the development closely said.“The club has already signed a host of Indian players. A few more would be added to the squad,” he added.

One such player could be former Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua, with whom talks are on an advanced stage.

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