Chennai: Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Chennaiyin FC appointed former Aston Villa manager John Gregory as head coach on Monday.
The 63-year-old Gregory will succeed former Italy defender Marco Materazzi who guided the club to the ISL title in 2015 as a player-manager.
Gregory has over four decades of experience as a player and coach, making his professional debut back in 1972.
The former midfielder made 600 league appearances in English football and represented the England national team six times.
His coaching career started at Portsmouth and then he had spells at Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers before a four-year stint with Aston Villa in the English Premier League. Under Gregory’s guidance Aston Villa finished runners-up in the 2000 FA Cup after losing to Chelsea in the last ever FA Cup final at the Old Wembley Stadium.
After leaving Aston Villa in 2002, Gregory was head coach at Derby County and Queens Park Rangers in English football.
He then had two stints 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.
“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 matches our club philosophy and ambition. We look forward to a great season under his guidance,” Chennaiyin co-owner Vita Dani said in a statement.
Gregory stated, “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.”