FC Bengaluru United (FCBU) has made two attempts at entering the main draw of the I-League, but on both occasions, the football team has slipped in the qualifying rounds.
In Khalid Jamil, the side has a new, proficient coach to help it get over the hump. Among the best Indian coaches, Jamil’s resume is impressive. He kept Mumbai FC in the top flight I-League for seven straight seasons (2009-2015) and led Aizawl FC to the 2016-17 I-League title. These were significant achievements, given that Mumbai FC and Aizawl FC did not have strong financial backing.
In October last year, he became the first Indian permanent head coach of an ISL club (NorthEast United).
"This is a new challenge I have accepted at FCBU. It's all the same for me, working in ISL or I-League. I have to take the team to the next level,” Jamil said in a media interaction here on Friday.
The former India midfielder explained that player recruitment will be a challenge, given that FCBU is not yet an established side on the national circuit.
“The first target is to use the players who are already with us. We will look outside for players also. This is a big challenge because we have to convince them to come here and play. Everyone wants to play in the ISL and then I-league. In the second division, those who play with heart are the best," Jamil said.
FCBU Founder Gaurav Manchanda said that the team will host its international partner Sevilla FC in the city next week, as part of the Spanish club's plans to expand its brand in India and other international markets. The President of Seville FC and other members of the leadership team are expected to visit the city.
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