East Bengal appoint Bastab Roy as head coach

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) Former ATK assistant coach Bastab Roy was on Friday appointed head coach of city football giants East Bengal for the upcoming season.

Bastab was one of the contenders for the post left vacant after predecessor Khalid Jamil was sacked by the club following another failed attempt to win the I-League crown.

“Being coach of East Bengal is challenging. There is more opportunity here. Just because it’s East Bengal, I didn’t think twice. I am looking forward to working with (technical director) Subhash Bhowmick,” Bastab told reporters at the club tent here.

“As a coach I have to prove my worth. One thing I learnt from ISL coaches (Antonio Habas, Teddy Sheringham, Jose Molina) is discipline.

“The pressure at East Bengal is more. There are more expectations from fans,” he added.

Bhowmick revealed Bastab was offered the job earlier which he rejected because of commitments with ATK.

“Initially Bastab rejected my offer. He was busy with ATK grassroots programme. I had received seven applications from top Indian coaches. But later we spoke again and he agreed,” Bhowmick said.

“He has worked with two quality coaches like Molina and Habas. He has to understand that the pressure is immense. He has to learn how to handle that,” Bhowmick added.

Besides Bastab, current Aizawl coach Santosh Kashyap and Gift Raikhan, who guided Neroca FC to the second place in their debut I-League season, were also in contention for the red-and-gold job.

Bhowmick further said East Bengal local players will start their pre-season training from June 1 while the overseas recruits will join the team on June 15.

East Bengal finished fourth in the league with 31 points from 18 outings and failed to beat Bengaluru FC in the final of the Super Cup.

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