Aizawl FC have roped in Khalid Jamil as their new head coach for the upcoming season of the I-League which will be commencing on 7th January next year.
The former India international has stepped out of Mumbai for the first time in his coaching career, after a seven-year long spell in charge of the Mumbai FC. Aizawl, who will be playing their second successive season of top-flight football, have made another managerial change after the sacking of Manuel Retamero Fraile midway into the 2016 season and the dismissal of Jahar Das - Fraile's successor - at the end of the season.
Incidentally, Aizawl FC were supposed to take part in the 2nd Division I-League after they finished 8th last season with bottom side DSK Shivajians escaping relegation through commercial immunity. However, after the infamous pullout of the Goan clubs, the AIFF reinstated the Mizoram-based club into the top-flight tournament.
39-year-old Jamil boasts of a long-standing experience in the I-League both as a player and as a coach. The former India international had played for the likes of Air India and Mahindra United before plying his trade at Mumbai FC.
Jamil ended his near-decade long association with Mumbai FC at the end of the Federation Cup last season after his team was ousted in the first round itself by Sporting Clube de Goa. Santosh Kashyap was appointed as the new head coach of Mumbai FC earlier this year.
"It is a matter of pride that we have such an experienced I-League manager heading Aizawl FC. All we can hope is that our club excels leaps and bounds under him. We have contracted him for just one season but both sides are willing for an extension beyond 2017," Robert Royte, the owner of the side told Goal on Tuesday.
Aizawl FC will start their campaign on the opening day of the competition when they lock horns with East Bengal at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata.