Would Ashley Westwood be as impactful for ATK as he was for BFC, after a forgetful stint in Malaysia?

Sumedh Pande  |  ATK  |  1 Year Ago

The background work for all the ISL clubs have begun in full flow and the reigning champions, Atletico De Kolkata have made a huge announcement. ATK have roped in Ashley Westwood as the Director of Football (DoF) for the foreseeable future. Taking the former Manchester United man Teddy Sheringham on board is a huge statement from Atletico with Westwood having an experience of the Indian league. 



Westwood was the coach of Bengaluru FC since its inception and left the Blues last season. He won two I-league titles and the Federations Cup during his successful three year tenure with the club. He returned to management with Penang FC in the Malaysian Super League but that stint ended in just three months after Westwood did not get the desired results. 



He is back in India and has started his work with the Kolkata side ahead of the player's draft. Westwood will also look for a new coach for ATK after Jose Molina is expected to be relieved of his duties. The former Bengaluru FC will be in charge of the transfers and is also expected to guide the new manager in the intricacies of the Indian football. Goalkeeper Debjit Majumder and the versatile Prabir Das are retained by Kolkata ahead of the defence of their ISL crown and it is believed that Westwood had a huge say in that.



This is a big swoop by the most successful team in the ISL and naturally the owners were ecstatic about Westwood's appointment. The co-owner of the club, Sanjiv Goenka said, "I take this opportunity to welcome our Technical irector Ashley Westwood to the ATK family and believe that it is going to be a fascinating experience for him. Our effort to incorporate professionalism and build a well-knit team has further been heightened by Westwood joining the squad. His multifarious profile and experience of coaching in India will guide ATK in making it big for this season."


Many believed that Westwood was found out in Malaysia during his three month spell with Penang FC but the reality was that he had very little time to instil his ideas on his new squad. He had also revealed that the local players were lacking fitness and he had to dedicate the entire preseason on improving their fitness rather than working on tactics and strategies. Eventually, Westwood left Penang in March this year after the Malaysian club was rock bottom in the MSL. 




However, Atletico will hope that their new DoF will carry the midas touch from his time with Bengaluru FC. It was Westwood who helped the Blues to win big and establish themselves as one of India's premier clubs. Westwood focused on bringing new Indian talents to the fore and his aim will be the same at Kolkata. During his time in Bangalore, he fielded an all Indian lineup once in an AFC Cup game which shows that he is the right man for ATK as a technical director in developing an Indian core at the club. 



The club have made Westwood the DoF with one eye on the future and will hope that he will oversee a new era at the club and also bring the new fitness and conditioning techniques which he introduced at BFC.




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