ISL 2019: Sandy Stewart joins Chennaiyin FC as assistant coach

After the appointment of Owen Coyle as Chennaiyin's head coach, the Scotsman's long-term assistant Sandy Stewart has come on board at the club.

Sandy Stewart with Owen Coyle at Blackburn Rovers.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Sandy Stewart has been roped in as the assistant of Chennaiyin FC's new head coach Owen Coyle, the Indian Super League (ISL) club announced on Thursday. Stewart has been Coyle’s assistant at all his clubs since 2007.

Stewart prior to his arrival in India, said, “Hopefully we can bring some of our experience to the players and team, and help the club achieve success again. Owen and I love a challenge, and it will be exactly that with Chennaiyin in a competitive league like the ISL."

“Sandy (Stewart) is an astute tactical mind with a genuine love for the game.” Coyle said," said Coyle.

The 55-year-old Stewart began his playing career in Scotland in 1987 with brief spells at Hearts and Kilmarnock before moving to Airdrieonians in the second-tier two years later. He went on to become a vital member of the squad, helping them qualify to the Scottish top-flight in 1991. Stewart won the Scottish Challenge Cup twice and finished runner-up in the Scottish Cup as many times in over 300 appearances for Airdrieonians over two spells at the club.

Stewart’s managerial career began as player-manager of Airdrie United (formerly his former club Airdrieonians), where Coyle also came on board in the role of player-coach. During his time there, Stewart led Airdrie to top-flight promotion and a Scottish Challenge Cup final.

From there on, Stewart has been assistant to Coyle at St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premier League followed by Burnley and Bolton Wanderers in England; winning promotion to the Premier League with Burnley in 2008-09 through the play-offs. Then after assisting Coyle in the English Championship with Wigan Athletic, Stewart joined him at Major League Soccer side Houston Dynamos as well. On Coyle’s return to Europe, Stewart continued as his deputy at Blackburn Rovers followed by Ross County. Stewart’s latest assignment was that of caretaker manager at Scottish Championship side Ayr United earlier this year. 

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