Two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC are proud to announce that Head Coach John Gregory has signed a one-year contract extension with the club. Under his leadership, the club finished second in the league stage of the competition and overcame FC Goa by a 4-1 aggregate victory in the semis. The first English coach to win the ISL trophy, John led the side to an eight-match unbeaten run that culminated in a 3-2 victory over Bengaluru FC in the final, thus securing qualification to the 2019 AFC Cup.
“I am extremely delighted to continue with Chennaiyin FC for one more year. My first year in India couldn’t have been more perfect, with us winning the title. It has been an incredible journey filled with some fabulous memories and achievements along the way. The togetherness shown by the entire squad throughout the season was exemplary. The aim is to take the same forward into the Super Cup and the next season,” said a pleased John on extending his tenure.
By winning a second ISL trophy under John’s watch, Chennaiyin FC also became the most successful club in the tournament’s history so far. Many records were broken this season, which saw the team depend on its collective strength for results, rather than bank on individual brilliance. The togetherness and unity showcased by the club is largely down to John’s philosophy and ethos. He has shown incredible faith in the entire squad evident in the fact that he utilized 24 of the 25 players at his disposal.
“John has taken our club to great heights in his first season in-charge. The team has performed incredibly well with John bringing the best out of each and every player, focusing on their strengths and maximizing them. And winning the ISL trophy was the perfect compliment for all the hard work that John and his entire coaching staff put into the squad. We are excited for what lies ahead with him in-charge,” said Chennaiyin FC co-owner Mrs. Vita Dani.
This season with John at the helm also proved to be a memorable one for the youngsters and the Indian contingent in the squad. John is the first manager in the tournament’s history to field 10 Indian players, as was the case in the last league match against Mumbai City FC on March 3, 2018. The Indian players especially have come leaps and bounds under his tutelage, with five players – Jeje Lalpekhlua, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Dhanpal Ganesh, Anirudh Thapa and Germanpreet Singh – the most from any Indian club, receiving call-ups to the national camp prior to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kyrgyz Republic on March 27, 2018.
The team will regroup under John ahead of the Super Cup match against Aizawl FC on March 31, 2018.