New Delhi: Top English manager Desmond Bulpin, widely credited with the development of Peter Crouch into a high-class striker, may be given the responsibility of coaching the All India Football Federation (AIFF) junior team to be fielded in the I-League next season.
A former coach at Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur, Bulpin is currently in charge of the Philippines national team. According to sources, national coach Bob Houghton has recommended Bulpin’s name for coaching the team to be based in Delhi.
The AIFF has recently selected 24 junior footballers who would be fielded as a club side in the I-League for a four-year period. The move, federation officials claimed, would help prepare the juniors for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers that immediately follow the 2014 World Cup. The team are likely to be kept outside the I-League relegation bracket.
“Bob is extremely keen to see Bulpin handle the junior team in the I-League,” sources said. “Both the coaches worked together in Uzbekistan for some time. Bob has high regard for Bulpin’s ability,” he added.
Bulpin, 59, served as the youth team coach at Tottenham and discovered international strikers like Crouch and Jermain Defoe.
Bulpin was on Gerry Francis’s coaching staff at Tottenham in the mid-90s when Crouch was a struggling first-year trainee. He told Crouch that one day the lanky striker would play upfront for England. He took keen interest in developing Crouch into a quality striker.