FORMER Oxford United coach Des Buckingham believes his success is reward for the trust shown in him in recent years.

Buckingham, from Cowley, lifted his first piece of silverware with Mumbai City over the weekend in record-breaking style.

The 38-year-old was appointed head coach of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) team in October 2021.

Despite losing their last game of the league season 1-0 at home to East Bengal, his side secured the Hero ISL Winners’ Shield with two matches to play, the quickest the league title has ever been sealed.

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Buckingham’s team have broken 15 records this season, including the most points in a single Hero ISL campaign (46) in addition to most goals (54).

The side also set a record the longest winning streak (11 games) and longest unbeaten run (18 games).

On the historic season for the club, Buckingham said the success has been made extra sweet by the way his side have played in storming their way to the title.

He said: “It’s been a very emotional week, we won it last week and we’ve had to wait to come back to our home ground and lift the shield, which we did at the weekend just gone.

“There’s a lot of work that’s gone in, there’s a lot of records that have been broken leading up to this.

“There’s a lot of talk around the style of football that’s allowed us to put in the performances and get the results to win the league earlier than anyone’s ever done before.

“When that final whistle went, it was a strange emotion – one of pride of what we’ve done and how we’ve played to win the league.

“I’ve had some very special memories so far in what has been a 22-year journey and that’s certainly up there.”

Oxford Mail: Des Buckingham has lifted his first piece of silverware with Mumbai City in record-breaking style. Picture: Mumbai City FCDes Buckingham has lifted his first piece of silverware with Mumbai City in record-breaking style. Picture: Mumbai City FC

On the title triumph, the club posted: “Mumbai City’s fluid tactical set-up has also allowed the Islanders to control and dominate possession in nearly all their games in the season so far, averaging nearly 60 per cent possession in the 2022/23 season so far.

“These unprecedented attacking numbers are a result of the continued hard work that Buckingham and his staff have put in since his arrival at the club.”

Buckingham started coaching at United aged 18, overseeing the rise of Sam Long and Callum O’Dowda, before joining Chris Wilder’s first team staff in 2013/14.

His globetrotting journey has then seen him take in stints at Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City – the latter part of City Football Group, which operates clubs including Manchester City, New York City and La Liga side Girona.

Buckingham joined Mumbai from Melbourne, where he won the A-League Championship.

On the success he’s achieved with both Melbourne and Mumbai, Buckingham said: “I hope it’s a testament to the trust and support that’s been put into me, certainly over the last three years if I draw back to this journey with City Football Group.

“Being afforded the opportunity and being trusted to come here, and try and replicate what was in Melbourne here.

“In terms of my journey, I’ve just turned 38 so I’m still relatively young but this is my 22nd year in coaching.

“I think the last three years have been reward for the trust and support I’ve had.”