Pune, Sept 16 IBNS | 11 months ago

Pune FC academy under-19 coach Gift Raikhan and Englishman Glen Johnson are new appointees in the senior team technical staff for the upcoming 2013-14 season.


Thirty-two year old Gift, an AFC 'C' License holder, takes over the role of assistant coach, while Glen will be Pune FC's first-ever goalkeeping coach.

Both appointees will be part of coach Mike Snoei's staff for the season ahead.

Essex-born Glen, incidentally is the third Britisher after Stewart Hall (Coach) and Bernard McNally (coach) with a senior team coaching assignment ever since Pune FC was incepted in 2007.

Glen holds an NSCAA Advanced National GK Licence, an IFA Advanced National GK Licence and is a SFA GK B Licence holder.

Glen, 27, began his professional coaching career at NASL-side Crystal Palace Baltimore (USA) in 2010. During the same period, he also worked as an assistant coach for the women's soccer team at Goucher College in Baltimore.

The following year (2011) Glen returned to England where he took up the position of first team goalkeeping coach at Chelmsford City (5th Division) also working full time with the academy (under-19) goalkeepers.

Before coming to India, Glen returned to the USA to work with the goalkeepers at the Springfield Demize of the USL Premier Development League.

Glen said: "It's an exciting project and I want to help Mike (Snoei) with development of the goalkeepers. I am looking forward to lend my expertise to the fullest during my stay."

Assistant coach Gift is a Pune FC faithful since inception. The Manipur-born joined Pune FC as a player and formed the squad in the Second Division I-League in 2008. Subsequently, Gift moved on to coach and worked with the Under-15s and Under-17s between 2008-2010.

Gift, thereafter, was elevated into the Peninsula Pune FC Academy (PPFCA) setup since formation in 2011 as coach of the Under-19s. Gift, under, PPFCA Academy Director Ranjan Chowdhury, guided the Pune FC to back-to-back Under-20 I-League titles, a first by any club in the country.

Among his other achievements, he guided Pune FC Reserves team to a maiden All India Gold Cup at Indore in early 2013.

Gift said: "It is a big honour to be associated with the Senior squad. I thank the management in the faith they had in me and also shortlisting me to assist our Head coach (Mike Snoei)."

Both Gift and Glen have been ex-players themselves, before moving on to become coaches.

Glen, in a career spanning over 5 years, represented Canvey Island where he progressed through the club's ranks.

He made his first team debut at the age of 16.

Later, he played for Maldon Town (2005) and Long Melford (2006) before returning to Canvey Island the following season.

He also had loan spells with Aveley and Wingate and Finchley.

Gift, who hails from Mapao Khullen, Manipur, played as a left-back in the Indian circuit from 1999 to 2008. During this period he represented BMFC (1999-2000), Churchill Brothers (2000-2002), HAL (2002-2004), Indian Bank (2004-2005), Vasco SC (on loan 2005-2006), Indian Bank (2006) and BEML (on loan 2006).

(Posted on 17-09-2013)