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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

FC Pune City appoint Ranko Popovic as head coach for 2017-18 ISL season

Ranko Popovic, who has joined Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City as head coach, has had 15 years experience as a manager at various clubs in Austria, Serbia and Japan

football Updated: Sep 25, 2017 20:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ranko Popovic (right), the new head coach of Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City.
Ranko Popovic (right), the new head coach of Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City.(HT Photo)

Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City announced Ranko Popovic as their new head coach on Monday. The Serbian would be making his managerial debut in the ISL in the 2017-18 season.

“I am delighted to be joining FC Pune City,” said Popovic. “The people at the club, their vision and their values together with the opportunity to develop and build this team to its full potential made this an offer that was difficult to turn down. I can’t wait to get started.”

Gaurav Modwel, CEO of FC Pune City, was excited about hiring Popovic, a coach with more than 15 years of experience.

“In Ranko, we have a manager with distinguished coaching career spanning 15 years,” said Modwel. “His successful stints in different leagues vastly differing in cultural environment and football ecosystem, especially in Asia, makes him very relevant for FC Pune City. Ranko is multilingual and believes strongly in developing youth players.” He added, “Spending time with him in Pune, I was impressed with his depth of knowledge of the game, motivation to succeed and ability to seamlessly work with our Indian staff.”

Ranko Popovic began his managerial career in 2001 with Austrian club TuS FC Arnfels followed by a stint with another Austrian club FC Pachern from 2004-2006. In 2006, he took the reins of Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J1 league for a year before going back to his homeland, coaching FC Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga till 2009.

Popovic returned to Japan managing Oita Trinita, FC Machida Zelvia and FC Tokyo, eventually climbing the progress ladder to manage Cerezo Osaka, one of the strongest teams in Japan.

It was during his stint when the club signed Uruguayan star Diego Forlan.During his time in Japan, he promoted several young players who went on to receive debut call-ups for the national team. Twice, his teams created a record for scoring maximum number of goals in the League.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 20:54 IST