Subhash Bhowmick returns to coaching after two years, joins Tollygunge Agragami

Subhash BhowmickSandip Saha

Calcutta Football League (CFL) side Tollygunge Agragami sprung a surprise on Tuesday, roping in Subhash Bhowmick as their head coach for the remaining part of the domestic league campaign. The former India national team striker is expected to start overseeing practice sessions starting from Wednesday morning at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium.

Bhowmick, who had won two National Football League (NFL) titles with East Bengal in the early years of last decade, is counted as one of the best tacticians in the country and was one of the first Indian coaches to stress prime importance on issues such as fitness and rehabilitation, which resulted in the Red and Golds setting up the best infrastructure among the I-League clubs at that time. However, mysteriously he failed to clear the coaching license examinations conducted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), putting a full-stop to his top-flight coaching career.

His last major stint at a renowned club came four seasons ago when he took charge of Mohun Bagan and overhauled the squad, which was to be inherited by Sanjoy Sen mid-season, who worked wonders with the existing set-up.

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Tollygunge, which has West Bengal's Sports Minister Arup Biswas as its chief patron, has signed a number of known faces including Anthony Wolfe, Deepak Mandal, Chika Wali, R. Vashum, Anthony Soren et al. but have won only one point from their last two matches after winning the first tie. Low-key figure Supriya Dasgupta was at the helm of the club till now but given the streak of poor results, the former NFL giant-killers have decided to bring in a more experienced face in the dug-out.

Bhowmick had taken charge of this same team a couple of years ago in similar situations but had failed to help them avoid the drop. With four teams getting relegated every year among the ten participants, the CFL is believed to be most competitive domestic competition for the small-budget sides. Bhowmick was in talks with Calcutta Customs also last week but has instead made up his mind to join the South Kolkata club.

He is expected to make his debut on Friday at the East Bengal ground, where Tollygunge will lock horns with NPB Rainbow AC.