Chennai, July 28 (IANS) Indian Super League (ISL) holders Chennaiyin FC on Saturday announced the appointment of Englishman Kevin Hitchcock as goalkeeping coach ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The 55-year-old Hitchcock, who was last working at Birmingham City as goalkeeping coach last season, replaces compatriot Tony Warner.
Hitchcock joins new assistant coach Paul Groves in the Chennaiyin coaching staff, having worked with him at Birmingham last season, where the latter was the first-team coach.
“I had a great working experience in Qatar and I have heard very positive things about Indian football and ISL, so I am looking forward to it,” Hitchcock said after joining the club.
“I am excited to work with John and his staff which also includes Paul, who I know very well. Chennaiyin FC has three top-class goalkeepers with two of them fresh signings. I can’t wait for the start of pre-season and help the club defend the ISL title,” he added.
Meanwhile, praising Hitchcock, Head Coach John Gregory said: “Kevin is a highly reputed goalkeeping coach in England who also enjoyed a long and successful career in goal. I am looking forward to working with him and further improving our already able goalkeeping department.”
Having started out in Chelsea’s youth ranks, Hitchcock began his professional career at non-league English club Barking. He then had spells at Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town before returning to Chelsea.
Hitchcock went on to be a part of Chelsea for more than a decade before retiring in 2001.
His first coaching assignment was at Watford but most of his stints as goalkeeping coach have been working with former teammate Mark Hughes as manager.
The duo worked together at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers. He has also worked at West Ham United and Fulham.
Hitchcock was also goalkeeping coach at Qatari club Al Arabi.