The tactician becomes the first Indian to take charge of an ISL club on permanent basis.

NorthEast United have appointed Khalid Jamil as their head coach ahead of the 2021-22 Indian Super League season, the club announced on Saturday. The Highlanders become the first ISL club to appoint an Indian coach on a permanent basis.

After NorthEast United parted ways with Gerard Nus, Jamil took over as the interim head coach with just nine league games to go and NEUFC struggling in a mid-table muddle. He surprised everyone by leading the Highlanders to their best-ever finish in the league.

The former Aizawl and East Bengal head coach oversaw a remarkable turnaround for the Highlanders. He guided them to the playoffs for only the second time in the club’s history. Jamil started his stint as the interim head coach with three consecutive wins against Jamshedpur FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City. The Highlanders produced a third-place finish after going unbeaten in their last nine games under Jamil.

Under the Indian tactician, NorthEast United brought their A-game to the table in every single outing. They won six games and drew three to make the playoffs, where Jamil’s side lost to ATK Mohun Bagan. He also achieved an unbeaten run of 10 games, the highest ever by a NEUFC head coach.

After guiding the Highlanders to their best-ever finish in the ISL, it was a no-brainer to hand Jamil the reins of the club for this season.

NorthEast United’s preparations ahead of the new season

Khalid Jamil has assembled a lot of exciting talent alongside experience into the team for this season. The Highlanders have roped in French forward Mathias Coureur and reigning ISL champions Hernan Santana and Tondonba Singh. The club have also acquired the services of Joe Zoherliana, Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha, Laldanmawia Ralte, Sehnaj Singh, William Lalnunfela, Mohamed Irshad and Jestin George.  

The midfield duo of Federico Gallego and Khassa Camara have also extended their stay. Apart from them, Deshorn Brown, VP Suhair and Rochharzela have also signed contract extensions. The Highlanders will get their season underway on November 20 against Bengaluru FC.

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