The Englishman’s latest deal will see him through to the AFC Asian Cup next year in the UAE.
Just a fortnight after THE AIFF Technical Committee’s meeting in Mumbai, Indian national team head coach Stephen Constantine has been granted a contract extension, the 55-year-old himself confirmed on his blog on Tuesday. The latest extension is the gaffer’s second in charge of the Men in Blue and is set to make him the longest-serving foreign coach in Indian football history.
The contract extension comes as part of his second stint with the Indian side, where he first took charge in 2002 and was reappointed in 2015 after leaving in 2005.
“I am of course immensely proud of that, and of our accomplishments in both stints,” wrote the English coach in his blog while talking about his newest contract. He also talked about his achievements in the past three years and thanked the AIFF, players and others for helping him along the way. “This time round, qualifying for the Asian Cup in 2019, winning the SAFF Championship, and taking India to its highest ranking in modern history, 96 are all great achievements. I really could not have done this without the support of the AIFF, my staff and, of course, the players,” he wrote.
Under the veteran coach, India have enjoyed one of the most fruitful times in this decade. Among many other achievements, India managed to qualify for the Asian Cup in 2019, talking about which Constantine revealed that, “There will then be a break in the ISL season so we can have a few more weeks to prepare for the Asian Cup in January.”
“It is going to be a tough season and hopefully an injury-free one as well. As we head into the start of this schedule in March we already have several players out with injury and or suspensions,” The former Nepal, Sudan and Rwanda head coach wrote. The gaffer also requested assistance in the coming days as he wrote, “We are going to need all hands on deck going forward. As always with me, it is the players that are willing to play for the team and do the work that interest me.”
“The door is open to any Indian player who is willing to do the work, the job we need him to, in the National Team,” Constantine wrote just before concluding.