New Delhi: Mumbai City Football Club on Thursday named eminent English football manager Peter Reid as Team Manager and experienced coach Steve Darby as the assistant coach for their campaign at the Indian Super League (ISL).
During his career as a Manager, Reid has been at the helm of affairs at top teams that include England Under-21, Manchester City, Sunderland, Leeds United, Coventry City, Thailand and Plymouth Argyle.
Speaking on the occasion, Reid, a former England midfielder, said: "It's a great opportunity to coach in the Indian Super League. I enjoyed working overseas with Thailand and I am very much looking forward to this new challenge!
"We have a very competitive side, Friedrich is a great signing, you don't win Germany caps by luck or play over 300 Bundesliga games!," he said.
Darby, who has coached in India, Bahrain, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in the past, said: "It's always good to be part of something new. A great combination of youth and experience is what every team aims for!
"To us, Friedrich and Cmov provide experience at the highest level, and in Subrata Paul, Syed Rahim Nabi and Deepak Mondal you have nearly 250 Indian caps," said Darby, who was appointed Manager of India giants Mohun Bagan AC in 2011.
The Englishmen have worked together during the past while coaching Thailand's national team.
As a top defensive midfielder, Reid had signed for Bolton Wanderers followed by Everton in 1982. At Everton, Reid played the most successful spell of his career, helping the squad win the English Football League twice apart from other domestic and European honors.
In 1985, Reid was voted PFA Players' Player of the Year. He came fourth in the World Soccer Player of the Year award behind icons Michel Platini, Preben Elkjr and Diego Maradona. He also received his first senior England call-up that year and represented his country at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and 1988 UEFA European Championship. He won 13 caps in total.
Reid had joined Queens Park Rangers in 1989, but moved on to Manchester City a year later to begin his managerial career. Under his leadership, Sunderland won the Football League's First Division twice while the Thai national team won the T&T Cup.
In 1996, he was awarded LMA Manager of the Year in England. The winner can come from any of the four professional leagues. To date only three have come from outside the Premier League, Reid being one of them.
Talking about the ISL, Reid said: "I've watched a few Indian national team games and was very impressed with some of the players. I am convinced the ISL will eventually help the national team rise up the FIFA rankings."
After obtaining his UEFA A License in 1979, Darby became an official FIFA Instructor for the Oceania region in 1981 and AFC Instructor 1998.
Followed by this, he was National Development Manager for the Australian Soccer Federation from 1990 to 1995. Darby has spent the last 16 years coaching football clubs in India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.
Darby hopes the ISL will help raise the quality of football in the country in the coming years.
"I have seen the effect the IPL has had on cricket and hopefully this will happen with football in India. India has great players I hope this leads to further opportunities for them," Darby said.
Talking about the Mumbai City FC Squad, Darby said, "I have worked with Nabi before at Mohun Bagan, and believe he is one of the best all round footballers I have ever worked with. I have no doubt he could play English championship level football.
"Subrata is a top keeper and he was outstanding in the AFC Asian Cup. Bobby Houghton thought he was one of the best keepers he had worked with. I commentated on the India games at the Asian Cup and I kept saying... Great save by Subrata!."