The South Indian club will only have Syed Sabir Pasha from the staff team which worked with Marco Materazzi for two seasons at the helm.

Chennaiyin FC is delighted to announce the appointment of Englishmen Mark Lillis and Niall Clark as the assistant coach and sports scientist respectively as the club continues its preparations for the upcoming Hero Indian Super League 2017-18 season by bringing in new personnel to the first team coaching staff.

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In addition to newly appointed head coach John Gregory, Chennaiyin FC already had the local favourite and former India international Syed Sabir Pasha as the the assistant coach and now Lillis and Clark join the newly revamped coaching staff with more staff appointments expected before the start of the season.

“Both Mark and Niall are highly qualified and experienced in their respective fields of expertise. We are delighted to have them on board and believe that along with Sabir we have the best team to support John in our quest of winning back the ISL trophy,” said Chennaiyin FC co-owner Mrs Vita Dani.

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Chennaiyin head coach John Gregory added, “Mark used to be an exceptional player and has an incredible experience as a coach. He has a great CV of coaching and developing talent and thus will add great value to our technical think tank. Niall is an expert in sports science with the experience of having worked in top clubs of England and more crucially in the ISL as well. Sabir and I couldn’t have wished for a better duo to work it.”

57-year-old Lillis had almost 17 years of experience as a player with spells at Huddersfield Town, Manchester City, Derby County and Aston Villa.  His coaching career started at Macclesfield Town before a spell at Halifax Town. Lillis worked with Gregory at Derby County but he has done most of his coaching at Huddersfield Town, where he has served as coach, caretaker manager and academy manager. He also had a spell as assistant manager of Northern Ireland.

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Clark has previously had spells with Manchester City, Crystal Palace, West Ham, Charlton Atheltic in England besides working with Gregory at English third tier outfit Crawley Town. In 2015, he worked with FC Pune City in the ISL and last season he played a key role in Kerala Blasters’ road to the final.