Jamshedpur, June 25: Ishfaq Ahmed has ended his three year association with Kerala Blasters and is set to sign for the newly inducted Indian Super League (ISL) team from Jamshedpur as Assistant Manager, according to Goal.com.
Ishfaq will be the first ever signing for the Jamshedpur-based ISL team, owned by Tata Steel. He is expected to join the setup in the next couple of days. However, officials from the Tata Group were unavailable to comment on the development.
Ishfaq Ahmed joins the new franchise after a largely successful three year stint with Kerala Blasters during which the team reached the ISL final twice, with the winger starting on both occasions.
The 34-year-old was drafted into Kerala Blasters during the inaugural season of the IMG-Reliance owned league in 2014. Since the second season onwards, the former India U-23 player was also handed coaching duties, making him the first and only Indian player-manager in the ISL so far.
After hanging up his playing boots after the 2016 ISL, Ishfaq had a few stints as a television pundit and commentator during the last season. The former winger has also completed his Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘B’ coaching license course earlier this month, passing in his first try itself.
Ishfaq, who has turned out for most major clubs in India including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in the past was also given scouting responsibilites while at Kerala Blasters along with former India international NP Pradeep.
The Kashmir-born former winger has parted ways with Kerala Blasters and is likely to be the newly formed team’s first signing.
Tata Steel, new entrants in the ISL, might just have made a good acquisition in poaching an experienced figure with respect to the rigours and challenges of the league.