CHENNAI: Indian football is set to have a new technical director! After a long-drawn process that began with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) putting out an ad for the post towards the end of January, Romanian Isac Doru is set to be announced as the man who will head the technical development of the game in India.
Isac was one of the three persons interviewed by the AIFF’s technical committee. Sources revealed that he is going to be the man, ahead of Portugal’s Jorge Castelo and Georgian Gaioz Darsadze. “Isac was the committee’s first choice. After that it was just a matter of agreeing terms with him,” sources said. That step also appears to have been completed on Friday, with Isac reportedly agreeing a three-year deal with the federation.
The fact that Isac was the only one of the candidates to fly down to India for an interview couldn’t have harmed his prospects. Despite flying down, he was stuck at the Indira Gandhi Airport on Monday, after he wrongly assumed he would have visa on arrival. He eventually gave his interview via Skype along with the rest of the candidates.
Sources in the technical committee said that while Doru was their No 1 choice, Darsadze made an impressive presentation. However, his lack of experience outside his native country counted against him, as did the fact that Georgia and India are not too far away in terms of football quality. Doru is also understood to have won points for his youth-centric vision.
The 56-year-old will replace Savio Medeira, who had been operating in a caretaker role since being appointed in early 2017. The last permanent occupant of the post was Aussie Scott O’Donnell, who was also one of the names touted this time. O’Donnell had succeeded Dutchman Rob Baan who served as technical director between 2011 and 2014.
Isac is currently at J-League club Yokohama F Marinos and will bring with him a wealth of experience that has taken him to Japan, USA, Singapore, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He worked with former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger when the latter was managing Japanese club Nagoya Grampus and with former Iran and Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz at the same club. His last association with a national team came when he took charge of Romania’s U-19 team in 2014, before which he was in charge of Qatar’s Olympic team.