Scottish defender Danny Fox will don the captain’s armband for SC East Bengal in their maiden Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season, head coach Robbie Fowler said on Thursday. Irish midfielder Anthony Pilkington will be Fox’s deputy.
A no-nonsense centre back who has plied his trade in the English Premier League for Southampton and Burnley, Fox previously led Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic, a club he played for last season in the English Championship.
“I have known Danny for a quite some time now and I strongly believe he has leadership qualities. In the two weeks that we have trained together, he has already earned the players’ trust and is a popular figure in the team who many look up to,” said Fowler, a Liverpool and England legend.
“Our team is full of leaders and Danny is a leader among leaders. I believe in him and feel he has the acumen to drive SC East Bengal forward as we build up to the our first game, the big derby. I have had good conversations with him and he has shown the hunger like everybody else, to deliver the goods for the team,” added Fowler, the seventh-highest goalscorer in the Premier League’s history.
Fox joined Coventry City in the English Championship from Walsall in 2008, playing 57 league games and scoring six goals before being snapped up by Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. After his stints with Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League, he moved to Nottingham Forest in the Championship ahead of a move to Wigan.
“This is a big responsibility and I am ready for it. The Gaffer has shown his trust in me and I will not let him down. The team has gelled really well together and the mood within the group is positive. I believe we have the hunger to do well as a unit. We have had good training sessions and the lads look sharp. We obviously start with the big derby against ATK Mohun Bagan on Friday and I cannot wait to lead the red and golds on our home ground,” he added.
Pilkington, meanwhile, joined the red and gold brigade having played in England with more than 400 games under his belt. Pilkington has scored 83 goals in his 14 year-long professional career. The 32-year-old had his best days playing for Norwich City in the Premier League between 2011-2014. He scored 14 goals, provided 5 assists from 75 appearances. The former Manchester United academy player spent the next five years with Cardiff City before moving to Wigan Athletic last year.
“Being the vice-captain of SC East Bengal brings with it a lot of responsibility. I am happy that the Gaffer has shown his trust in me, and I am ready to give my all for the red and golds. This team has a lot of leaders and they are all pushing eachother. We have one goal, and that is to do well in our maiden ISL season,” Pilkington said.
SC East Bengal take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their season opener on Friday at their home ground in Tilak Maidan.