Head Coach profile: Owen Coyle looks to breathe life into Jamshedpur FC

After being unable to qualify for the playoffs in any of their previous seasons, Jamshedpur FC have placed their faith in Head Coach Owen Coyle ahead of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21. The 54-year-old Head Coach joins Jamshedpur FC following a strong campaign with Chennaiyin FC where Coyle turned around the fortunes of the club, leading them from the bottom of the league into the top four and eventually the final.

And Coyle has already outlined his intentions with his new club. “Not only do we want to get to the playoffs, but [we are] fighting to be champions, because that is what will be expected from the club. My job as a head coach is to make sure that when people speak about the Hero ISL, they speak about Jamshedpur. We do that when we put a successful team on the pitch,” he had said after joining the club.

Born in Scotland, Coyle had a decorated career across the United Kingdom. A striker by trade, his career spanned over two decades, scoring more than 300 goals in his entire professional career, having played for the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Dundee United, Motherwell FC and Falkirk FC. He also represented Republic of Ireland at the international level.

Coyle’s first taste of football coaching came with Falkirk and Airdrie United in Scotland, after which he was named manager of St Johnstone. After strong performances with the team wherein St Johnstone managed 19 wins and 8 draws in 36 matches, he was snapped up by English club Burnley FC. Coyle helped the club achieve promotion to the Premier League in his first season with the club, beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the playoff final.

In 2010, Coyle joined Bolton Wanderers and led them to the FA Cup semis in his first season in-charge. He was also awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month thrice during his tenure with the Wanderers. After stints at Wigan Athletic and American Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Houston Dynamos, he joined Blackburn Rovers in 2016, though shortly after he returned to Scotland to join Ross County.  

In December 2019, Chennaiyin FC appointed Coyle as their Head Coach after underwhelming performances led to the departure of John Gregory. He orchestrated the team’s turnaround, and the Marina Machans went on to score 35 goals in 15 matches under him. Their unbeaten run of nine games helped propel them to the final where they eventually lost to ATK FC.

With Coyle at the helm, Jameshedpur FC fans would hope for a similar turnaround in their fortunes this season.

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