Pune: He has over 72 caps for India, but when FC Pune City hosted Mumbai City FC in their Indian Super League-2 opener yesterday, former India midfielder Renedy Singh started his second innings —in the Pune dugout as their assistant manager.
FC Pune City's assistant manager Renedy Singh. Pic/ISL
The 36-year-old, who is one of the rare Indians in the coaching set-ups of ISL teams, had undergone a training stint with Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia in February and had a few offers to play in the ISL but chose to turn to coaching.
"After training for three-and-a-half months in Sofia, I met a few officials from a few ISL clubs. When I met Gaurav (Modwel, CEO of Pune), the first thing he told me was that David Platt was going to be the coach of Pune.
"I had seen David score as a kid in the 1990 World Cup (against Belgium) and I knew he was at Manchester City as the assistant manager with Roberto Mancini. I wanted to play for another year, but I thought what after that? Then I had to become a coach only. It's not easy to get to work under high quality coaches," Renedy told mid-day.
Having made the switch, Renedy has already become indispensable for the Pune franchise. "Renedy's knowledge of Indian players both at Pune and in the other clubs has been invaluable. The players we managed to attain in the auction and draft were primarily down to his knowledge of them, and I haven't been disappointed with his choices," said Platt.
"He is my right hand man and needs to understand this. His opinion is important and we are now at a point in our relationship where I hope he knows he can disagree with me if he feels strongly about something," added Platt, who felt Renedy is growing everyday as a coach.
"As a coach he is learning all the time and is keen to do so, he manages the players well and takes much of my work from my shoulders. I couldn't be happier with him," the Englishman added.