My task was to turn Mumbai City FC into a CFG club: Des Buckingham

Mumbai City FC head coach, Des Buckingham, also the youngest coach in the Indian Super League is going to take the club to the AFC Champions League for the second consecutive time after winning the ISL Shield for the season 2022-23.

Des Buckingham at Mumbai City FC

Des has signed a contract to extend his tenure at the club and within the City Football Group. Having put pen to paper on a two-year extension, the Islanders’ Head Coach has reiterated his commitment to the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

The upcoming 2023-24 season will be the 3rd year for Des at the head of Mumbai City FC. Initially, during the first season under his leadership, the team faced challenges defensively. They nearly had conceded the same number of goals as they had scored.

Then there was a complete transformation the following season. Now the team’s approach was to play out from the back. He stated,

“During the (first) season, we had one or two different ways of doing that depending upon how the opposition pressed us.

Now, after spending time on it, and with them asking questions, we have five or six ways.”

This dedication to innovation and flexibility in their playing style allowed Mumbai City FC to adapt to different game situations effectively. In an interview, Buckingham shared how the transformation took place within the team. He stated,

“Indian players were used to being told what to do and how to do it.”

By seeing this, he made his job clear to improve the knowledge the players by encouraging open conversations. He explained,

“That first year (in the bio bubble), we spent a lot of time getting them comfortable having conversations to drive their development.”

Targets of the Gaffer

Buckingham had two targets. He explained,

“There were two remits. One of them was to develop the young Indian players, and the other was to implement what I learned at Melbourne (City FC) to make this a CFG (City Football Group) club.”

The influence of CFG has been instrumental in providing guidance and support to Buckingham.

Upcoming Season for Islanders’

The Islanders’ have made some significant transfers in the transfer market. They have strengthened their defensive line with the signing of Tiri and Akash Mishra. They also have brought in Yoëll van Nieff of Netherlands, as CDM. Earlier completing their campaign with two wins and a draw in the AFC CL, they are undoubtedly aiming to qualify through the group stages in the upcoming season.

Finally, the aim of Buckingham and Islanders’ is to perform well and continue to bring the silverware to their city and fans not only in the league but also at the Asian level.

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