Ashley Westwood, who started his career as a trainee at the Manchester United Academy in the mid-90s, has been appointed coach of Jindal Sports' Bangalore-based club for the upcoming I-League season.
JSW Sports, one of the two new entrants in the I-League, issued a statement on the appointment of the 36-year-old former English footballer who, after graduating from the Manchester United Academy, went on to play for more than 15 clubs before culminating with a stint at Portsmouth.
"JSW Sports has appointed former Manchester United player Ashley Westwood as coach of the club for the upcoming I-League season," read a statement from the club.
Westwood said he is looking forward to the opportunity.
"This was too exciting a prospect to turn down. I have been around for a fair bit of time on the English football scene and the chance to change things in this part of the world is a challenge I will relish," said Westwood.
A defender in his playing days, Westwood began his career as a trainee at Manchester United and was part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side in 1995 before turning out for a host of clubs in a career that spanned a little less than two decades in England.
"Highly experienced in England as a player, Westwood had a period as manager of Kettering before partnering with Michael Appleton as his assistant manager at clubs including, Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn.
"With his reputation growing quickly in management, the 36-year-old Englishman will handle the reins at the Bangalore team that makes its I-League debut this year," the club added in the statement.
Parth Jindal, who looks into the team activities, said, "We are pleased to appoint Ashley Westwood as the head coach of the club. He is young, experienced and shares our vision and passion for the game. We believe he is the right man to take our club to where we want to see it."
On his decision to join the Bangalore club, Westwood said, "I did my study and have no doubt about the company and its owners having vision. There is a genuine ambition to the whole project and I would love being able to leave my stamp on it."
Image: Ashley Westwood
Photograph: Courtesy: JSW Sports