Chennaiyin FC has extended the contract of coach John Gregory after the team defeated Bengaluru FC by 3-2 in the Hero ISL Season 4 final to bag their second title at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, on Saturday.
Vita Dani while announcing Gregory’s extension has hailed his contribution to the team. “John’s contract has been extended by a season… that’s how he prefers it. John has played a very important role, especially when we had to bounce back from last season. It is under his leadership that the team has performed so well,” Vita said.
“I am proud to say that we are one of the most successful teams in the ISL. We’ve made Tamil Nadu proud with two trophies,” Dani added. She also praised the manner in which Gregory had handled the team after CFC had struggled in 2016.
The Chennai team has matched ATK’s feat to hold two ISL titles since the inception of the league. Chennaiyin FC have also become the first ISL team to qualify for the AFC Cup.
Gregory said, “All I can say is it has been an amazing experience, an incredible journey. A fantastic opportunity to coach and manage Chennaiyin FC. It culminated in an amazing victory last night,” he said.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I think if I probably watch the recording, which I might do tomorrow… it will. When I got back to the airport today, it was incredible stuff, a lot of fans were there.”
“The incredible happiness that football brings to people. Our fans have stuck with the team despite last year not being so good. That was the start of the realisation of what we have achieved this season,” he added further.
The former English footballer had taken the reigns from legendary Italian Marco Materazzi as the head coach last year and is credited with efficiently handling the team after it struggled in 2016. Since the start of his managerial career in 1989, Gregory has managed 11 teams till date including Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Derby County FC, etc. among others.