By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: In an attempt to rejuvenate the side ahead of the I-League 2012/13, Shillong Lajong FC have signed a two-year contract with 61-year-old Scottish coach Desmond Donaldson Bulpin besides roping in five new players.
Des Bulpin as he is popularly known, has worked as an assistant coach with various English Premier League (EPL) teams including Tottenham Hotspur, QPR and Leicester City and currently manages the Under-21Indian National Team. Bulpin also coached the first batch of Indian Arrows (now Pailan Arrows) in 2010/11 season.
The new head coach said, “It is a privilege to join SLFC which has one of the largest support base in Indian club football. I look forward to working with the supporters, directors, players and all the members Shillong Lajong to take the club forward in its endeavour to become one of the best clubs in India.”
Delighted by the signing, SLFC general secretary Larsing M Sawian said that the team would largely benefit with the coming of an experienced coach like Bulpin.
“I am personally impressed with his unique quality of being able to take clubs with limited resources to newer heights. I am hopeful he would be able to do the same with SLFC,” Sawian said.
Sawian also informed that Bulpin was also responsible for the development of around £90 million worth of talent including names like Peter Crouch (Stoke City and England), Nigel Martyn (formerly Leeds and England), Andy King (Leicester and Wales), to name a few.
When asked about the reason for ousting incumbent coach Pradhyum Reddy, Sawian stated that the former has not been removed from the team.
“We would like Reddy to work under Bulpin for the Youth Development Programme of the Club. We have, in fact, brought him to build the team for the future,” Sawian said.
When asked if Reddy has agreed to work under the Scottish coach, he said that they are making this offer to the former head coach.
‘But the final call of accepting the offer club lies with him (Reddy),” Sawian said. He also denied that the dismal performance of the team in the closing stages of the I-League 2011/12 led to Reddy’s ouster as the head coach.
Meanwhile, the new players signed by Lajong include Jibon Singh (Palian Arrows), Gobind Singh and Basanth Singh (United Sikkim) and Rollingson Hyungyo (Pune FC). Lajong have also signed a short term contract with North Korean U-23 national player Minchol Son.
John Menyonger was the lone foreign player whose contract was retained by the Reds.