Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) City football giants East Bengal on Wednesday appointed Khalid Jamil as their head coach for the upcoming season.

Jamil, who made a name for himself by guiding Aizawl FC to an improbable I-League triumph last season, put pen to paper on a one-year deal.

A former India international, Mumbai-based Jamil had been at the helm of Mumbai FC for seven seasons before taking charge of Aizawl who defied all odds to lay hands on the league crown.

East Bengal, who finished third in the 2016-17 season under British coach Trevor Morgan, have already signed a number of players including Lalramchullova, Mahmoud Al Amna and Brandon Vanlalremdika, all part of Aizawl’s fairytale season.

The red and gold brigade, after bouts of jousting with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) regarding taking part in the Indian Super League (ISL) along with arch-rivals Mohun Bagan, will have to be content with playing the I-League which is expected to run simultaneously with the ISL from November.

“I have two reasons for joining East Bengal. One is their jersey colour. I love red and gold. The other is their fans. They are all over India,” Jamil told reporters at his unveiling here.

“As a player I could never play for East Bengal. So I decided to take up the opportunity as a coach.”

Asked about the reason for leaving Aizawl, Jamil said: “I wanted to take up a new challenge. It is a bigger club.”

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.