Bhubaneswar: Odisha FC has appointed Stuart Baxter as head coach, ahead of the 7th edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). The experienced Englishman has signed a two-year contract with the Bhubaneswar-based club.
Baxter, with a coaching experience of over 25 years, has served as manager of South Africa and Finland’s national teams, besides being in charge of the England under-19 team.
He has also coached several professional clubs in Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Japan and South Africa, including the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Vissel Kobe, SuperSport United and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The 66-year-old Baxter helped Kaizer Chiefs lift the Premier Soccer League title twice and also guided Sanfrecce Hiroshima to the J1 League (1st stage) peak.
“I’m pleased to say that Odisha FC and I have reached an agreement for the upcoming ISL season. The vision of the Sharma family for the club representing the sporting state of Odisha is an exciting one with development, teamwork and cooperation with our stakeholders serving as cornerstones for the task ahead,” Baxter said.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of Indian football and the opportunity to develop players and coaches in India. I’d like to wish all the supporters, players and staff good health during these testing times. Together we will bring joy and success to the region,” Baxter added.
Founder and CEO of GMS (parent company of Odisha FC) Dr Anil Sharma welcomed Baxter to the OFC fold. “I am delighted to welcome coach Stuart Baxter to Odisha FC! We conducted an extensive global search for a coach that matched our vision for the next phase of OFC. We are excited that Stuart is both motivated and experienced to create a championship club, develop our Indian starlets into national team players, and strengthen our youth academy, in order to have a consistent inflow of talent into the Odisha FC Squad,” Sharma said.