Mumbai City FC have appointed Englishman Des Buckingham as the new head coach to replace Sergio Lobera who will take up a role within the City Football Group (CFG). The 36-year-old joins the Islanders from CFG-owned Melbourne City FC where he served as assistant manager last season. Much like Mumbai City FC who won the ISL League and Championship last season, Melbourne City FC also completed the double last season winning the A-League Premiership and Championship.
Born in Oxford, England, Des was briefly part of reserve and youth sides at Reading FC and Oxford United FC following which he started his professional coaching career with Oxford United’s youth teams at the age of 18.
After a decade as coach with various age-group teams at Oxford, Buckingham moved to the Australian A-League with Wellington Phoenix in the 2014-15 season. Early in 2017, he was appointed interim head coach at the club thus becoming the youngest manager in A-League history at the age of 31.
Later in July that year, Des took up the role of assistant coach of the U-23 team of Premier League side Stoke City FC. Then in 2018, he was appointed as head coach of the New Zealand U-20 team and was also the assistant coach for the NZ senior national team. In 2019, he took up the head coach role for the New Zealand U-23 and the side maintained an unbeaten record in his 12 games in charge (9 wins, 3 draws).
September 2020 saw the CFG group come calling for Des and he was appointed assistant manager at Melbourne City FC. He was interim manager for the club briefly during the absence of head coach Patrick Kisnorbo and the club went onto complete a historic double last season. Buckingham has signed a two-year contract with CFG’s Mumbai City FC and replaces Sergio Lobera who led the Islanders to an ISL double in the 2020-21 season.