FC Pune City appoint Ranko Popovic as new head coach
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FC Pune City appoint Ranko Popovic as new head coach

Serbian will make his managerial debut in the ISL 2017-18 season.

pune Updated: Sep 26, 2017 00:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Football,Indian Super League,ISL
Ranko Popovic (R) with Club’s CEO Gaurav Modwel.(HT PHOTO)

The Rajesh Wadhawan Group-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City has announced Ranko Popovic as their new head coach on Monday. The Serbian will make his managerial debut in the Indian Super League with FC Pune City in the 2017-18 season.

“I am delighted to be joining FC Pune City. 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,” says Ranko Popovic.

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 and coaching FC Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga until 2009.

Popovic returned to Japan managing Oita Trinita, FC Machida Zelvia, FC Tokyo eventually climbing the progress ladder to manage Cerezo Osaka, one of the strongest teams in Japanese league football. It was during his managerial stint that 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 the maximum number of goals in the league.

In 2014-15, he went to Spain to coach Segunda Division club Real Zaragoza where he led the team to finals of the La Liga play-offs. A season later, he joined Thai Premier League Champions Buriram United FC where he won the Thai League Cup and Mekong Club Championship.

Gaurav Modwel, CEO of FC Pune City, says, “In Ranko, we have a manager with a distinguished coaching career spanning 15 years. His successful stints in different leagues vastly differing in cultural environments and football ecosystems, especially in Asia, make him very relevant for a club like ours. Ranko is multilingual and believes strongly in developing youth players.”

He adds, “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.”

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 23:59 IST