The change is imminent in Indian football as the Federation Cup dates were announced in a recently concluded meeting attended by the top club officials and AIFF members. The new ‘exciting’ I-League will get underway as soon as the federation finalizes on the details, but till then , the Indian football transfer season is in full flow, which has kept the fans on their toes.
Moving to the more stable and confirmed transitions in the league – replacement of managers. Some of the big clubs in Indian Football, and also those who are making their debut in the big league, have appointed some renowned faces as their top men before taking to the battlefield.
Marcos Falopa (East Bengal FC)
Former coach Trevor Morgan left amidst an emotional farewell, as the fans chanted his name till the Brit boarded his flight. There was a lot of speculation and anxiety among fans around the new face who will take over the helm at the Kolkata based club. Finally the suspense was released as East Bengal officials announced that they had appointed Brazilian Marcos Falopa as the new head coach for the upcoming season. Falopa has coaching experience of more than three decades and has coached teams like Myanmar, Oman and South Africa. He was the Techinical Director of the latter at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea/Japan.
In addition to that, Falopa holds a FIFA Instructor and a UEFA Pro Coaching License. Falopa kick started his playing career for one of the more famous clubs in Brazil, S.E Palmeiras and started coaching the Brazilian club Comercial in 1974. The veteran has won four major trophies throughout his career. He has been classified as a brilliant mentor to developing teams and has a reputation of delivering success.
At East Bengal he will be assisted by his 35 year old son who would also take up the charge of Goalkeeping coach cum physical trainer at the club.
Mike Snoei (Pune FC)
After the conclusion of a highly successful season for the Pune based club since their inception, head coach Derrick Pereira decided to move on after guiding the club for four seasons. The club administration wanted a coach having international experience with a healthy tactical acumen. Roll in Mike Snoei– who once plyed his trade alongside Van Basten.
It is believed that Rob Baan chipped in with Snoei’s timely reference as talks with Arthur Papas broke down. Snoei serves his massive experience, garnered from coaching different teams across the globe, plus his defensive tactics on the plate. Being a defender himself in his playing days, he also worked as assistant to Henk ten Cate at Panathinaikos, Dubai’s Al Ahli, Qatar’s Umm Salal and China’s Shandong Luneng Taishan. Snoei started his coaching career with Feyenoord Rotterdam and now holds a UEFA Pro license. With Pune FC all set to compete in the continental tournaments next year, Snoei’s addition could turn a new page in the history books of Pune based club.
Santosh Kashyap (Rangdajied United)
Making their debut in the I-League next season is Rangdajied United from Meghalaya. The club, formerly known as Ar Hima, are the winners of the I-League second division this year. Kashyap is fondly known as Harry Redknapp of Indian football, as his records boast about his uncanny knack of getting the best out of all the players at a low budget club. The most recent example being of ONGC FC. The institutional side was in shambles when Kashyap took over the helm in late December. Once a local lad, Santosh Kashyap relished the opportunity and finished his assignment with ONGC by clinching a respectable seventh position in the league. He achieved similarly with Air India a season before, when he was recruited by Mohun Bagan.
With ONGC making an exit from the league, Santosh Kashyap by far was one of the more sensible choices available when the newly promoted club went out shopping. Kashyap holds an AFC ‘A’ license and is still a very young coach. His methods and tactics are very sound and well thought, especially against big teams. Santosh Kashyap himself was dead ball specialist in his hey days when he plyed his trade at Mahindra United for 15 years. He soon joined the Mumbai club as assistant coach and worked with David Booth and Derrick Pereira.
All in all, the incorporation of Santosh Kashyap into in the Rangdajied plans is a very shrewd and worthy move. The first aim of the club will be stay afloat in the league, which is undoubtedly Santosh Kashyap’s forte.