Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory has been recognised by the League Managers' Association (LMA) after a successful Indian Super League (ISL) campaign which saw the Marina Machans emerge triumphantly.
The LMA, which is the union for Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and national team managers in English football, honoured Gregory by presenting him with a special award for being the first English manager to win the ISL.
LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, said in his speech: "John Gregory earned an LMA Special Achievement Award after becoming the first Englishman to win the Indian Super League with Chennaiyin FC."
A short video on Chennaiyin’s 2017-18 Indian Super League triumph was shown to a star-studded audience which included current Premier League managers Sam Allardyce (Everton), Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace) and 2018 World Cup-bound head coaches Gareth Southgate (England) and Roberto Martinez (Belgium).
“It was fantastic to win the title in my first season in India. Football in India is growing and the ISL is getting better and better. The standard of football is improving and more people are taking interest. I just can’t wait to go back and try and defend the title,” Gregory said after receiving the award.
The former Aston Villa manager, who recently penned a contract extension with the Chennai-based outfit, led the team to its second ISL title. A sturdy defence was the hallmark of Gregory's team as they finished second in the league standings and thereafter went on to beat FC Goa and Bengaluru FC in the semifinals and final respectively.
The 64-year-old garnered much appreciation for his feat, considering the fact that Chennaiyin has finished second from bottom in the season before his arrival.