Orange army stunned as FC Pune City’s ‘best coach till date’ moves on | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Orange army stunned as FC Pune City’s ‘best coach till date’ moves on

The Serbian guided the team to their maiden semifinal in the fourth season of the Indian super league (ISL) and the loyal and.

pune Updated: May 31, 2018 23:21 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Players of FC Pune City along with former head coach Ranko Popovic (extreme right) during one of their practice sessions at Pune FC training pitch, Pirangut.
Players of FC Pune City along with former head coach Ranko Popovic (extreme right) during one of their practice sessions at Pune FC training pitch, Pirangut.(HT File Photo)

On Wednesday, the Rajesh Wadhawan group and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor co-owned franchise FC Pune City announced that the football club has parted ways with head coach Ranko Popovic. The Serbian guided the team to their maiden semifinal in the fourth season of the Indian super league (ISL) and the loyal and.

Popovic got the Stallions to play smart football and he quickly won over the love and adulation of the Orange Army - the passionate bunch of FCPC supporters who travelled with the team for their away matches and were in constant touch with Popovic.

“The decision to part ways is one of the most toughest I have had to made for a while,” Pop, as he came to be fondly known by the Pune fans, said.

Season ticket holder Kevin Ranka stated, “I am upset because Ranko has been our best manager till date and made the most of the resources at his disposal. His presence on the touchline and the passion for the club will surely be missed. However, on the other hand, I felt his sacking was imminent because his team selection was dubious at times and he played a consistent team throughout which raised doubts when star player Lucca was benched for most games and often came on as a substitute.”

Popovic cut a controversial figure on Pune’s touchline last season. Apart from the constant bickering at referees in press conferences, he was also in the midst of verbal disputes on the field of play. The Serb also faced two different bans throughout the course of the season for being vocal in his criticism of the match officials - one of which got overturned for the semifinal which Pune lost.

Gaurav Modwell, club CEO, said, “He deserves a lot of credit for the historic run the club has had in 2017-18 ISL. But like someone has said, ‘all good things come to an end’ and so has his journey with us.”

The Serb’s reign as head coach of Pune has undoubtedly been a success. He oversaw what proved to be FCPC’s highest goal-scoring campaign and their performances on the road threw light on just how much they have improved under his tutelage.

What they said:

Ranko Popovic, former coach, FC Pune City

“FC Pune City was, is and will remain very close to my heart. The players, the support staff and the management ensured my transition was smooth and every one played their role to perfection for us to have a great season. The decision to part ways is one of the most toughest I have had to made for a while. The professionalism of the Management and the fans support made my job here a memorable one and I wish the club all the best for the future.”

Gaurav Modwel, Club CEO

“It has been a great season for FC Pune City and thanks to Coach Ranko Popovic for making it memorable. His belief in the club’s ethos, especially the youth was remarkable, and it helped us achieve a lot and unearth the hidden talent in our system. He deserves a lot of credit for the historic run the club has had in 2017-18 ISL. FC Pune City wishes him the best in his future endeavours. The name of the new head coach will be announced in due course of time.”