Khalid Jamil, the amazing coach who guided Aizawl FC to win the prestigious I-League in its debut, has joined the North East United Football Club (NEUFC).

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Khalid signed a three-year deal with NEUFC as an assistant coach. He will also be head of NEUFC’s football academy. He was the head coach of Mohun Bagan before taking over the job with NEUFC.

Born in Kuwait to Indian parents, Khalid made seven appearances for the India national football team. Despite being born in Kuwait, he decided to play for India and made his debut in 2001.

Khalid played for three clubs in India in a 12-year playing career. He retired as a player in 2009, and started taking coaching assignments. He holds AFC Pro Coaching License.

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In the 2017 I-League season, Khalid took over as head coach of Aizawl FC. Beyond everyone’s expectations, Aizawl FC became I-League Champions. It is the first north-east club to win the I-League.

After Aizawl FC’s historic victory, Khalid joined East Bengal FC as the head coach. East Bengal signed him with a record breaking deal of Rs 1.25 crore.

In January 2019, he joined Mohan Bagan FC as the head coach. But, it was because of John Abraham’s request; Khalid decided to join NEUFC on June 19.

“It is a pleasure for me to be associated with North East United and contribute towards the grooming and scouting of young players,” he said.

Khalid said northeast is the hotbed of talent and it is an exciting opportunity to be back in the region that breathes football.

“I would like to thank the management for their trust and for providing me this opportunity to help build a sustainable youth structure for the club,” he said.

Khalid said, “Our goal is to turn this system into one of the best in the country with the ability to cater to over 200 youth prospects at a time.”

“In my capacity as Assistant Coach to the First Team, I look forward to working in the ISL for the first time and am confident that we can top last year’s excellent season,” he said.

The top honchos in NEUFC are of the opinion that with his vast knowledge of the Indian football landscape, Khalid will be a reliable guide for the team.

North East United’s executive director Priya Runchal said as identifying, grooming and providing a pathway for talent from northeast has always been a guiding vision for the club, Khalid will be able to play a pro-active role.

“Khalid have vast knowledge about India’s football landscape, he is also very familiar with the region,” Runchal said, adding that Khalid’s past accomplishments like winning the I-League and developing players makes him the best candidate for the new job.

Lachit Roy

Lachit Roy is a student of Dept. of Mass Communication and Journalism, Tezpur University

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