After Bob Houghton, Desmond Bulpin. A little over three months after Houghton left as senior India coach, Bulpin, who helmed the Indian Arrows and the U-23 squad, is set to get a golden handshake.
Bulpin had a contract till September 2013 and is likely to be given three months' salary as final settlement. Although the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) refused to confirm or deny this, sources told HT that the former Totteham Hotspur youth coach would be replaced shortly by former ONGC coach Sujit Chakraborty. “There has been no official decision yet. We (AIFF) are waiting to talk to the technical committee next week before taking a final call,” said general secretary Kushal Das.
“His record has been good but the technical committee and the head coach (Armando Colaco) felt that his style of long-ball play was outdated.”
Arrows, comprising under-23 players and without foreigners, finished ninth, level on points with Durand Cup winners Chirag United in the I-League. They were unbeaten at home for most of the league and ended it by dismantling Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan 5-4.
If Bulpin goes, Colm Toal, who got an extension as chief coach of youth development last week, would be the only coach recommended by Houghton remaining.
Another reason for Bulpin’s exit could be his proximity to a football agent, something the AIFF didn't like, a source said. No one at the AIFF though wanted to go on record.
“It will be announced in a day or two and Sujit will be working with Sukhwinder. It will all have to be decided before the UK camp begins on August 18,” said a source in the federation.
Chakraborty quit ONGC last December to become Mohun Bagan coach under technical director Subhas Bhowmick. An AFC A-licence holder, he had been with the Mumbai-based side since 2008 and is a rare example of a head coach willingly giving up a top spot to play second fiddle. “I am interested but I can’t confirm right now,” Chakraborty told HT.