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Mohun Bagan appoint former ATK boss Jose Molina as new head coach

Published at :June 11, 2024 at 9:46 PM
Modified at :June 11, 2024 at 9:46 PM
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Manav Chowdhury

Jose Molina won the ISL with ATK FC in 2016.

Mohun Bagan Super Giant have appointed former ATK boss Jose Molina as their head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season. The club announced the Spaniard’s appointment on their social media on Tuesday.

Jose Francisco Molina, who also served as the Technical Director of the Spanish Football Federation (REEF), will replace compatriot Antonio Lopez Habas who took over duties midway last season and led the club to their maiden ISL League shield.

“I am honored to be part of Mohun Bagan Super Giant, a club with a rich legacy. I hope to bring more success to the club and its fans,” Molina said in a statement released by the club. “I would also like to thank Dr. Goenka for giving me this opportunity and giving me the responsibility to take charge as head coach of Mohun Bagan Super Giant,” the 53-year-old added.

Experience as a Manager

Even though his last stint as a football manager was way back in 2018, Jose Molina knows Indian football very well having previously served as the ATK FC head coach in 2016 when he guided the team to their second league title. His appointment as a manager though was a bit surprising for the Mariners fans.

In the past, Molina, who played as a goalkeeper and was capped nine times by Spain, served as the head coach of Villarreal for four months having progressed through their B and C teams. He had begun his coaching career with Villarreal C team in the Tercera Division, fourth tier in Spanish football pyramid.

Molina, who also represented Villarreal as a player as well as Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna, also coached the B team Getafe. Outside Europe, he managed the Hong Kong side of Kitchee. His last managerial role was with San Luis before Molina was appointed the Technical Director of the Spanish Football Federation (REEF) for a period of five years.

However, he resigned from his position after the Spain men’s national football team’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The La Roja were knocked out by Morocco on penalties in the Round of 16 stage.

The former La Liga champion will now manage Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the ISL. Overall the fans can expect Molina to put forward a football style that will be very similar to their former coach Antonio Habas.

Previous experience in India

Molina’s only stint in India came with ATK and he guided the team to the league title in his only season in India in 2016. That title was ATK FC’s second ISL title in three seasons before the club went defunct in 2020.

ATK emerged champions after defeating Kerala Blasters in the penalty shootout (4–3) in the final. The match had ended 1–1 after 90 minutes and extra time.

One thing is certain – the appointment of Jose Molina injects a dose of excitement into the Mohun Bagan camp. The Mariners will be keen to impress under their new head coach and establish themselves as a major force in Indian football once again.

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