SIL 2022-23 | Bengaluru FC appoint Englishman Simon Grayson as head coach

ISL Bengaluru FC has appointed Englishman Simon Grayson as the club’s new head coach ahead of the 2022-23 season, on a two-year contract. Grayson, who has extensive experience as a player, moved into management in 2004 and has since overseen the promotion of four teams to the English Division.

“Coming to India was a possibility that I considered two years ago. But the pandemic has put everything on hold. When the opportunity arose again, I was excited to review it. This represents a new opportunity in my footballing career and it is one that I am really excited about,” said Grayson, after completing his contract formalities.

“When I spoke to the owner, his mindset was the same as mine. I want this club to win trophies again. I am aware that BFC have been very successful in the past, but in recent years didn’t work out the way everyone would have liked too.It happens in football – you learn from it and you strive to do better – to get players to work harder on and off the pitch; that’s what excites me,” Grayson said.

Grayson, from North Yorkshire, oversaw the promotion of four teams to the English Division; Blackpool in 2007, Leeds United in 2010, Huddersfield Town in 2012 and Preston North End in 2015. He spent short spells at SunderlandBradford City and Blackpool before recently taking charge of Fleetwood Town in League One.

“BFC have some very good young players from the academy and I hope they learned from their minutes in the first team last season. I really believe they can be a great asset to the club from football, and coupled with the players joining, I think this is the perfect opportunity for me, especially because it will be a season of football with the fans. I’m not just coming to spend time learning football in another country. I come here to win trophies in what is a fantasy football club,” Grayson added.

As a player, Grayson rose through the youth ranks at Leeds United, moving to Leicester city in 1992, where he made over 220 appearances in five seasons. With Leicester he gained promotion to the Premier League as captain and also won the English League Cup in 1997, scoring in the semi-final against Wimbledon.

This follows the announcement that Marco Pezzaiuoli was leaving as the club’s head coach as he will not continue his trip to India next season. The announcement was made by a message from Bangalore F.C.handles social media Wednesday.

Passing through the ranks of Germany’s U-17 and U-19 units, the appointment of Marco Pezzaiuoli has raised a lot of expectations among and among Indian football fans. Pezzaiuoli took over the duties of Naushad Moosa after the Durand Cup, taking the Blues to the AFC Cup Group stages. But the team was ousted after getting just four points in three games. However, being on a performance-based contract, Pezzaiuoli didn’t perform very well in the first half, possibly due to a lack of experience in India.

Pezzaiuoli couldn’t change Bengaluru’s fortunes in the Hero ISL as they finished sixth in the points table and have yet to manage a top four finish. The 53-year-old has only won eight games out of the twenty he has managed.

Marco had signed a three-year performance-based contract last year and it could have gone differently had the Blues been in the top four in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season.

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