ISL franchise Chennaiyin FC has appointed ex-English footballer and Aston Villa manager John Gregory as their head coach, replacing Italian coach Marco Materazzi. The 63-year-old has an experience of over four decades as a player and coach and played six matches for the England national team.
Gregory, who had played 600 league matches in English football to go with six appearances for England national team, started his professional coaching career at Portsmouth and then also shared his experiences as a coach at Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers before his most notable four-year stint with Aston Villa in the English Premier League. Under Gregory's stewardship, Villa finished runners-up in the 2000 FA Cup after losing to Chelsea in the last ever FA Cup final held at the Old Wembley Stadium.
The former midfielder left Villa in 2002 and had two stints as the head coach of Derby County and Queens Park Rangers. He also had spells in Israel at Maccabi Ahi Nazareth and FC Ashdod before moving to Kazakhstan where he coached FC Kairat. His last stint was at English third tier outfit Crawley Town.
After signing Gregory, who comes up with such a resume, Chennaiyin co-owner Vita Dani was quoted saying by PTI, "We are very happy to have appointed John as our head coach. He has immense experience at the very highest level of the game both as a player and coach and his vision and personality
Gregory also expressed his happiness on joining the club by stating, "I am very excited to have joined Chennaiyin FC and would like to thank the club owners for believing in me and giving me this wonderful opportunity. Chennaiyin has been one of the most consistent teams in the ISL so far and I want to continue the great work done by Marco Materazzi in the first three seasons. I am determined to help the club win the ISL trophy back for the people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu."