Andrew Oakley: Bringing Aussie flair to Indian football

The 38-year-old Australian was a player cum coach of the Madras Eagles team way back in 2006 in the Chennai Football Association first division league.

“He (Andrew Oakley) is a thorough professional. Both of us think similarly,” says Chennai City FC head coach Robin Charles Raja.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Andrew Oakley, who has been named the assistant coach of Chennai City FC, is no stranger to the city. The 38-year-old Australian was a player cum coach of the Madras Eagles team way back in 2006 in the Chennai Football Association first division league. He also follows the I-League quite religiously.

Moreover, he has a post graduation degree in football coaching and has completed his Asian Football Confederation A Licence course.

Andrew has his base in Bangkok, working at the grass-roots for the last three years before he was roped in by Robin Charles Raja, the head coach of CCFC.

Andrew said working with the team has been great and it now has to step up its training to the next gear. “In the short time we have, we have to work hard and be smart,” he said.

Robin said: “I first heard about him (Andrew) in USA in 2001 when I went as a coach with the Charlotte Eagles team, a USA-A league team. We became close in 2006 when he came to the city as a player cum coach for the Madras Eagles team. Ever since, we’ve been in touch.”

The head coach heaped praise on his deputy. “I knew that he had coaching interest. He is very knowledgeable, has been proving it right now; you can ask the players. He is a down-to-earth person.”

Robin said Andrew has been a big strength to him with his valuable inputs. “He is a thorough professional. Both of us think similarly,” said the 50-year-old.

Robin said he is looking for few more signings for a couple of positions. “The time has been very short. We hardly had less than 20 days to pick the team and practice together. But we have made the best of the time available to us and the team management has been a huge support. We will do our best,” he said.

  Dugout videos