Indian Super League: New ATK coach Teddy Sheringham says it's 'exciting to take over the champions'
Newly-appointed head coach Teddy Sheringham said he would look to grab the opportunity and guide two-time champions ATK to their third title in the upcoming season of the ISL.
Kolkata: Newly-appointed head coach Teddy Sheringham on Saturday said he would look to grab the opportunity and guide two-time champions ATK to their third title in the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Former Manchester United striker, Sheringham won a historic treble in 1999 and boasts of multiple trophies including three Premiership titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA Champions League, an Intercontinental Cup and an FA Charity Shield.
The 51-year-old was unveiled as head coach along with I-League winning Ashley Westwood as his technical director for Kolkata franchise ATK which is the most successful ISL franchise, winning wo out of three titles.
"It's lovely opportunity for myself and Ashley to combine a team that will hopefully progress and win the ISL," Sheringham said.
"It's what the club is used to over the years. This is what I've been used to as a player with Manchester United. I'm looking forward to be the coach of ATK," Sheringham told reporters in his first news conference in India.
He is aware of the football crazy fans' expectations in Kolkata as he hoped to live up to the challenge with his vast experience at Manchester United.
"I have been told about the football club and the crazy fans. I'm looking forward to building a team that would play in front of those crazy fans. Hopefully we can excite them.
"It's a pressure in itself and something I look forward to in the upcoming season. It's an exciting feeling to take over the champions.
"It adds a certain pressure and I know what the football club expects of me. It brings an added pressure in itself," said the former Manchester United star.
The ISL will have a distincitive English flavour this season with former Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell joining Jamshedpur FC.
There're two more Englishmen in Rene Meulensteen (Kerala) and John Gregory (Chennaiyin FC).
"It's going to be a massive challenge for us. Steve knows all about the ISL with his past experience," Sheringham said.
"Rene (Kerala) is an accomplished coach. Also John Gregory joining (Chennaiyin FC) brings a very British feel for us. But we are concentrating on ATK. We have got big job to do," he said.
Sheringham was capped 51 times for the England national team, scoring 11 times.
He appeared in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 1996 UEFA European Championship and retired from competitive football in 2007–08 at the age of 42.
"I'm very lucky to play that long. It's about enthusiasm and drive. I certainly had a lot of desire as a player. I will certainly want that from my players as well," he said.
England's lone World Cup victory has been way back in 1966 and they are yet to win the coveted title since then.
Sheringham said they have to find a right coach to take them forward.
"If we knew that then we would put it right. It's a tough question for any English football fan or footballer. At the moment we just have not got it right. Until we find that coach who puts it right for us we will have a long struggle."
Former Bengaluru FC coach Westwood said he would help Sheringham in the transition with his deep knowledge of Indian football.
ATK have already retained goalkeeper Debjit Majumder and defender Prabir Das from the previous season and Sunday's draft in Mumbai will complete their Indians line-up.
Each team this time around will have a minimum of six Indians instead of five in the previous editions.
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