Mumbai City FC coach Des Buckingham is set to become the new coach of English League One side Oxford United FC. Oxford United’s acquisition of Des marks a landmark moment as they are set to pay a record fee to an Indian club for the talented coach’s services.
Among the candidates vying for the Oxford United assignment was Notts County FC head coach Luke Williams. However, after a thorough assessment, the position was awarded to Buckingham, the current head coach of Mumbai City FC.
English media had initially linked Oxford United FC with Bristol City FC coach Liam Manning as a replacement for their former coach. However, the club’s decision has since shifted.
At 38, Des remains relatively young in his managerial career and displays enormous potential for growth. In 2021, he assumed the position of head coach at ISL side Mumbai City on a two-year contract, succeeding Sergio Lobera, who departed for Mumbai City’s Chinese sister club.
Des, along with the support of the City Football Group and Mumbai City FC, etched history by guiding Mumbai to a remarkable performance in the 2022 AFC Champions League. The Islanders secured a commendable 2nd place finish in their group, a first for an ISL club.
Although Mumbai finished 5th in the ISL 21/22 league stage, missing out on the playoffs, the team made a strong comeback in the following season. They remained unbeaten and invincible in the initial 18 games of the league stage, clinching the 22/23 ISL League Shield.
Subsequently, Mumbai reached the semi-finals of the 22/23 ISL playoffs but faced elimination at the hands of Bengaluru FC. The same team had defeated them in the 2022 Durand Cup final, securing the runner-up spot for Mumbai.
Mumbai qualified consecutively for the AFC Champions League, marking another milestone for Des and Mumbai City FC. Despite this season not meeting expectations in both domestic and international competitions, the Des Era at Mumbai draws to a close.
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