Mumbai: Tata Steel has signed Stephen James `Steve’ Coppell as the head coach of its Jamshedpur-based franchise, Jamshedpur Football Club, for the upcoming season of Indian Super League (ISL). Last month, Tata Steel had successfully bid for the Jamshedpur-based franchise of the coveted ISL. Stephen James Coppell, popularly known as Steve Coppell, joined the franchise after a successful stint with Kerala Blasters. The former Manchester United star is all set to bring his coaching expertise to the table for the Tata Steel team.
Steve Coppell was a highly regarded right winger known for his speed and skills at Manchester United. He scored 70 goals in 395 appearances for Manchester United and also represented England from 1977 to 1983. He has also managed Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, Brentford and, most notably, Crystal Palace and Reading, both of which he took from the English second tier to achieve each club’s greatest-ever success.
Tata Steel also announced the signing of former India football player Ishfaq Ahmed as the assistant coach of the franchise. Ishfaq Ahmed has also been working with Kerala Blasters for the last two years as an assistant coach and has helped the franchise in the recruitment of players.
Ishfaq Ahmed has represented the Indian National Team at various levels and in tournaments such as Independence Cup, Olympic Qualifiers (2003) and World Cup Qualifiers (2004).
Speaking on the occasion, T V Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel India & South-East Asia, said “Tata Steel has a long and enduring commitment to sports, especially football. Our foray into ISL is in line with the commitment to develop Indian football. Jamshedpur Football Club’s association with Steve Coppell and Ishfaq Ahmed is yet another step in this direction”.
Following the formal signing ceremony, Sunil Bhaskaran, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said “We are pleased to have on board Steve Coppell and Ishfaq Ahmed as the Head Coach and Assistant Coach, respectively, of our very own Jamshedpur Football Club. I am confident that, with their collective experience, they will transform the Jamshedpur Football Club into a valuable entity that we can be proud of”.
Tata Steel has a long association with sports, especially football, and has set up the Tata Football Academy (TFA) in Jamshedpur. TFA has been grooming exceptional players who have brought glory to the nation for the last 30 years. The new team will leverage the state-of-the-art infrastructure at TFA.
Established in Jamshedpur in 1987, the objective of TFA has been to nurture and train budding footballers in the most scientific way to improve the standard of Indian football by producing outstanding players for the Indian National Team. The academy has trained over 200 players, out of whom 135 have represented the country, with 19 of them having led the national team as Captain across various age groups.