Former star footballer I.M. Vijayan ended his first coaching stint by resigning yesterday as coach of Calcutta Premier Division side Southern Samity only a little over a month after taking up the assignment with the big league newcomers. What has been surprising is the fact that from day one Vijayan has been under sustained pressure to get positive results from his team for the club.
And very unusual for a small side from Kolkata, who just this season are making their debut in the Premier Division, is the fact that they have a good fan following plus a financially strong backer who has enabled the club to bring in big Maidan club rejects like Brazilians Marcos Pereira and Edmilson besides signing numerous Indian players from I-League Division 1 and 2 sides.
The club has aims to get into the I-League Division 2 this season and also signed Vijayan more for his big name then his coaching experience. Actually Southern Samity was the first coaching assignment for the former India captain and it sadly ended prematurely. Vijayan did cause some upsets, but the clubs results were rather mixed with three wins, one draw and four losses for their ambitions. And that just wasn't enough and over the last few matches Vijayan's job had been on the line, while fans had hit out at the former Maidan star and his players. It all ended after a 0-2 loss against Calcutta Port Trust on Monday as Vijayan himself retired before the club officials could fire him.
And what has Vijayan learned from this experience? Surely he has learned that in Kolkata you are not only under pressure to coach the big sides Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting plus a big name doesn't save one from pressure by club managements. After his first short coaching experience Vijayan is set to return to his home state Kerala and he would be on the lookout for a new coaching assignment. And Vijubhai has said that he isn't scared to return to Kolkata to try his luck again with another club.
Hopefully Southern Samity will give their new coach a little bit more time with the team to get the best out of the players. Only then will the club be successful and achieve their goals.