Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Pune City have secured the services of English manager Phil Brown as head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, the club announced on Monday.
The Arjun Kapoor co-owned side had sacked Miguel Angel Portugal just three games into ISL 5 after the Spaniard had just a point to show on board. Interim manager Pradhyum Reddy had guided the Maharashtra-based team to seventh position in the league with 11 points from 12 games, going into the winter break.
Phil Brown was most recently employed with English fourth division side Swindon Town until November. He was sacked by the Wiltshire club after his side managed to pick up only 5 wins from 17 games in the current season - seeing them languishing on 17th spot on the table, fearing a drop to non-league status.
Brown will only have six games to make a case for a playoff spot once the league resumes in late January, after the Indian national team's committments at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The 59-year-old is also expected to oversee the Stallions' run in the Super Cup, scheduled to be held in March - April.
Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel commented, "Phil has extensive experience of playing as well as a manager with a has a proven track record in England. His successful stint at Hull City, getting them promotion to Premier League was historic and says a lot about his caliber as a manager. We welcome him to FC Pune City family and look forward to making most of the rest of our season.”
Before starting his managerial career in England in 1999, Brown played across England for clubs like Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool among others for over 18 years. In 1999, he started his managerial career with Blackpool as an assistant coach. It was 2006, when the Englishman took charge of Hull City. Under him, the club won the Championship in 2008 and earned promotion to Premier League for the first time in their 104-year history.
In 2013, Brown joined SouthEnd United in League 2 and in his five years there, the team qualified for playoffs thrice and won promotion to League 1.
“FC Pune City has been having a difficult season but I am optimistic about taking up this job as the points table really isn’t the real representation of the talent that’s existing at the club. The potential at the club is exciting and I am really looking forward for the season with FC Pune City,” said Brown after signing up with the Stallions.
Brown will be joined by Aidan Davison as goalkeeper coach. Davison, a former Premier League footballer, has a managerial career at clubs across USA and England including Hull City, FC Arizona and Jacksonville Destroyers.