Coach Profile Part 10: – Des Buckingham

Des Buckingham has become a known name for the football fans in India. Des joined Mumbai City FC after the departure of Sergio Lobera. Under Buckingham, Mumbai City FC became the first Indian club to win a match in AFC Champions League. The club then extended his contract for two years, keeping him at the club till the end of 2024/25 season.

The club also reached their maiden Durand Cup final, where they lost to 2-1 to Bengaluru FC. The club also won the 2022-23 ISL League winner’s shield for the second time with two games to spare.


Des used to play in the lower divisions of English football before he took up as a manager. Buckingham began his professional coaching career at Oxford United, initially working through the club’s age-group squads. He joined the Wellington Pheonix in the A-League during 2014-15 season as the assistant coach. Thereafter he was appointed as manager of the club. At 31 years of age, he became the youngest manager in A-League history and was able to lift the club from the bottom of the table to finishing one place outside the playoffs at the end of the season.

Des Buckingham then went on to become the head coach of the New Zealand U20 Football team. He guided them to the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2019. He continued his success by winning the gold medal at the Pacific Games. He then returned to Australia and joined Melbourne City as an assistant coach. In his first season, the club won their maiden A-League trophy in the team’s history, winning the league to secure the A-League Premier’s plate. The team also won their first A-league Grand Final. After that, it is a known story of Des for the Indian Football fans.

Pilot Des Buckingham

Buckingham is a qualified pilot and holds a master’s degree in advanced performance football coaching through the University of South Wales.

“They took me up in this little aircraft and the guy up there sold me on this package.

Over a two-year period, I went through 100 hours of lessons, six theory exams and a flying test. If I had known the work involved, I wouldn’t have gone near it because it was substantial,”

he told Sky Sports.

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