I-League has been a surreal journey: Aizawl FC coach Khalid Jamilhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/football/i-league-has-been-a-surreal-journey-aizawl-fc-coach-khalid-jamil-4643822/

I-League has been a surreal journey: Aizawl FC coach Khalid Jamil

Khalid Jamil, who is the youngest coach to acquire an AFC 'Pro' License, blended a team of rejects into winners.

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Aizawl coach Khalid Jamil led his side to a historic I-League win.

Aizawl Fc’s story is one that will always reverb in memories in the years to come. While the players were the ones who did the job on the pitch, the man who found the formula for success was head coach Khalid Jamil. Jamil, who is the youngest coach to acquire an AFC ‘Pro’ License, blended a team of rejects into winners. However, this journey has been far from easy as a lot of effort was put day in and day out. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Khalid Jamil recalled this voyage and said,”A lot of effort went into this team and the journey throughout the I-League has been surreal. It was my dream to win the I-League and it has finally come true and I am looking forward to next season.”

When asked if he would move on to some of the bigger clubs (like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal) in Indian football, Jamil said,”I will honor my contract and stay with Aizawl FC. I love it here and there is no question of moving onto some other club-big or small.”

Team manager Hmingthana Zadeng was also all praises for Jamil and said,”He is one of the most hardworking people I have come across. Apart from being a hard taskmaster he also ensures that all his players are happy and content. He believes that players must be mentally in a good shape and only then can they perform well on the field.”

ALSO READ: FIFA President Gianni Infantino congratulates Aizawl FC on historic I-League triumph

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While the player and fans continue to celebrate, head coach Khalid Jamil believes that this a work in progress and the club will face bigger challenges ahead. In an earlier interview to the indianexpress.com he had said,“After winning the I league, the focus is on the Federation Cup. After that, we will represent India in the 2017 Asian Champions League qualifier which is a much bigger assignment. So this is just the beginning.” About the successful campaign this season Jamil said, “One of the crucial factors was winning the home matches. It proved to be the turning point. The players put in a lot of effort during practice and they combined well, i.e., the local boys and the foreign players. Added to the that was the compact defense that stood out and paved our way to success.”

Hon. Secretary, of Mizoram Football Association, Lalnghinglova Hmar, expressed satisfaction over the performance of the team and Jamil’s role. “After coming to Aizawl FC Jamil has done a wonderful job. He showed the talent he possesses as a manager and we would love him to keep the good work going.”