The 52-year-old coached RoundGlass Punjab in the I-League last season.
Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Chennaiyin FC are in advanced talks with Curtis Fleming in a bid to appoint him as their new head coach, Khel Now can confirm. If all goes to plan, the Irishman will lead the Marina Machans from the sidelines in the forthcoming ISL 2021-22 season.
“Chennaiyin FC are in advanced talks with Curtis Fleming and he may become the club’s new head coach. He was a part of the club’s coach shortlist. They also offered him a contract recently, but he is yet to sign on the dotted line,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. It can hence be understood that the 52-year-old is a leading candidate for the position left vacant by the departure of Csaba Laszlo in April.
Fleming’s career so far
Curtis Fleming is a former Irish international. In a playing career spanning nearly two decades, he represented the likes of Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and Crystal Palace. Predominantly a full-back, he has also won international honours for the Republic of Ireland U-21, U-23 and senior teams.
Post-retirement as a player, he took up coaching assignments at Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers, Queens Park Rangers, Middlesbrough and so on, before shifting base to India in 2019.
Upon arriving in India, Fleming was tasked with the responsibilities of head coach at Minerva Punjab Reserves in the 2019-20 season. The following year, RoundGlass acquired the club and their new management promoted the 52-year-old to the senior team role. He then led them in the 2020-21 I-League season.
Curtis Fleming coached RGPFC in 15 I-league matches, winning six and losing five. The remaining four games ended in draws, as the side finished fourth on the points table. Nearly a month later, he and the club parted ways by mutual consent, although Khel Now learned that the tactician was keen to continue in India.
Chennaiyin FC’s pre-season preparations
One of the most successful teams of all-time in the ISL, Chennaiyin FC are currently going through a lean patch. The Marina Machans reached the final in the 2019-20 season, but followed that up with a poor eighth place finish in 2020-21. As a result, they are understandably keen to put on an improved display next season – as evident from their transfer activity so far this summer.
The club have completed the signings of Narayan Das, Salam Ranjan Singh, Debjit Majumder and Deepak Devrani. They have also handed contract extensions to Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Rahim Ali, Reagan Singh and Brazilian midfielder Rafael Crivellaro.