John Gregory extends Chennaiyin FC stay to 2020
Two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC Saturday announced that head coach John Gregory has signed a new deal that keeps him at the club till the end of the 2019-20 season.
In his first season in India, John led CFC to a second ISL title in the 2017-18 campaign, helping them become the first side from the competition to qualify for the prestigious Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
And despite a disappointing 2018-19 ISL campaign, Chennaiyin went on to finish as 2019 Super Cup runners-up last month and currently occupy top spot midway through the 2019 AFC Cup group stage.
“It truly is a great feeling extending my stay with the Chennaiyin family. My journey so far in India has really given me the whole range of emotions and experience, after the ISL title triumph in the first season followed by the disappointment in the same competition last season. And I feel I have some unfinished business here,” said the Englishman as he celebrates his 65th birthday with the contract renewal.
John was presented with the esteemed League Managers’ Association (LMA) Special Achievement Award in May last year for becoming the first Englishman to win the ISL title.
Then in July 2018 he was also awarded the ISL Coach of the Year trophy by the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) for winning the ISL in his first-ever coaching stint in India.
John and Chennaiyin went on to endure a disappointing 2018-19 ISL campaign, finishing in the bottom spot. But the troops also bounced back under John’s watch and put together a memorable cup run, progressing to the 2019 Super Cup final where they lost by a narrow 2-1 margin to FC Goa.
At the same time, Chennaiyin made their continental bow under John’s guidance in the 2019 AFC Cup. It has been a steady show so far with Chennaiyin currently in top spot midway through the group stage, with two wins and a draw.
Chennaiyin have kept eight clean sheets in their last eleven games in all competitions and are yet to concede a goal in five AFC Cup matches, including the qualifying play-off round against Colombo FC earlier in March.