Chennaiyin FC brings in new coaching staff

Mark Lillis, as assistant coach, and Niall Clark, as sports scientist, will aid the newly appointed head coach John Gregory.

Mark Lillis (left) and Niall Clark (right) have coaching experience in England.   -  Twitter (@ChennaiyinFC)

Chennaiyin FC on Friday appointed Mark Lillis as assistant coach and Niall Clark as sports scientist ahead of the upcoming Indian Super League season.

In addition to newly-appointed head coach John Gregory, Chennaiyin FC already had local favourite and former India international Syed Sabir Pasha as assistant coach and now Englishmen Lillis and Clark join the revamped coaching staff.

“Both Mark and Niall are highly qualified and experienced in their respective fields of expertise. We are delighted to have them on board and believe that along with Sabir we have the best team to support John in our quest of winning back the ISL trophy,” said Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani.

57-year-old Lillis has about 17 years of experience as a player with spells at Huddersfield Town, Manchester City, Derby County and Aston Villa. His coaching career started at Macclesfield Town before a spell at Halifax Town. Lillis worked with Gregory at Derby County but he has done most of his coaching at Huddersfield Town, where he served as coach, caretaker manager and academy manager. Lillis also had a spell as assistant manager of Northern Ireland.

Clark has had spells with Manchester City, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Charlton Atheltic in England. He has also worked with Gregory at English third-tier outfit Crawley Town.

In 2015, he worked with FC Pune City in the ISL and last season he played a key role in Kerala Blasters’ road to the final.