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Odisha FC appoint former Arsenal coach as assistant coach

ISL (Indian Super League) side Odisha FC has announced the appointment of former Arsenal goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton. The 64 year old has been appointed as a chief coach on a two-year deal, and he will hook-up with the Bhubaneswar franchise ahead of next season.

Birmingham-born Peyton had a long and successful playing career as a goalkeeper, making nearly 600 first-team appearances in English professional football, playing 345 games for Fulham, and a further 202 for Bournemouth.

He qualified to play for Ireland through his parents and went on to play for the national side 33 times, featuring for them at the 1988 European Championships and the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

On retirement from the game, he began a new career as a goalkeeping coach, beginning with Jubilo Iwata and Vissel Kobe in Japan, and then AIK Fotboll in Sweden, before returning to Fulham. In 2003 he moved to Arsenal, where he worked under Arsène Wenger and coached the likes of David Seaman, Jens Lehmann, Wojciech Szczesny, and Petr Cech. He left the Gunners when Wenger departed in 2018.

He subsequently had a spell back in Japan, this time as a coach, with Shimizu S-Pulse.

Peyton’s appointment now strengthens the new British influence at the ISL club. Last week, they announced that Stuart Baxter was to be their new manager, replacing the Spaniard Sergio Lobera, who was fired in February after falling out with the owners of the club.

Baxter, 66, has also signed a two-year deal, and, like Peyton, the Englishman is vastly experienced, having previously coached the Finnish and South African national sides, as well as club sides in Sweden, Turkey, Japan, and South Africa.

It now remains to be seen if the Baxter-Peyton combination will be looking to recruit any British players for their foreign quota for the season to come.

The immediate task of the pair will be to try and make Odisha play-off candidates again. They finished 6th in the regular season of the last ISL campaign, and the ambitious club directors are looking for more than that.

Shantanu Gupta predominantly writes for the sister sites of CricketNews.com: Inplay Cricket India, Inplay Sports India and Indian Cricket World. Having grown up around the intense rivalries of cricket Shantanu took to a journalistic career in following the sport whilst also remaining mindful of other key sports of interest to Indian sports fans. You’ll see him not only writing about cricket but also covering football, tennis and more.

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