Des Buckingham on why he rejected foreign offer to remain at Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City FC head coach Des Buckingham opened up about the offers he received from abroad and the reasons why he decided to stay in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) and continue his journey with Mumbai City FC. 

The Islanders are enjoying a remarkable season under the Englishman and sit top of the table after 13 matches. They are also unbeaten this campaign and set a new league record for most consecutive wins when they beat Kerala Blasters FC 4-0 last Sunday. 

Buckingham who is masterminding this revolution revealed he turned down an offer from New Zealand Football to become the head coach of their men’s national team. 

“I informed New Zealand Football that I will be signing a contract extension with Mumbai City FC. When I arrived at City Football Group in Melbourne City FC two and a half years ago, the way I have been supported, the way I have been trusted, looked after and developed both as a person and as a coach is incredible,” Buckingham said during the pre-match press conference ahead of the ATK Mohun Bagan match. 

“I'm just 37 and I have got a lot to learn even though I have coached for 21 years and hopefully I still have a long way to go in the game. And I found myself in such a supportive environment. We have built a project that is starting to see some benefits after 15-16 months of work and the excitement of how far we can build it made me sign an extension here,” he added. 

Buckingham was backed in the transfer market as the club brought in Greg Stewart, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Rostyn Griffiths and Lalianzuala Chhangte (on a permanent basis) and all of these players have played a key role in the club’s performances so far this season. 

One of the key reasons for the right recruitment and cohesive performances has been the shared vision between the head coach and the club. 

“The vision I have as a coach is certainly very closely aligned with the club and I want to be the best coach I can be. The club wants it to be the best it can be and the group wants us to be as successful as we can not just in one season but in terms of building some solid foundation for us to be as successful as we can over a longer period,” Buckingham said. 

Mumbai City FC broke five records with a win against Kerala Blasters FC and could break more records in the upcoming weeks. Buckingham signing an extension would have come as a big boost for the squad who will look to overcome one of their stiffest challenges yet in the season when they take on ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Saturday. 

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