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Aizawl FC sign Spanish coach Manuel Retamero Fraile ahead of debut I-League campaign

Rohit Menon
763   //    20 Aug 2015, 18:03 IST
Manuel Fraile with Aizawl president Robert Royte

Aizawl FC have signed Spanish coach Manuel Retamero Fraile on a three-year-deal. The former Bahrain Football Association technical director and U-19 team coach has agreed a deal in principle with the newly promoted side, ahead of their debut campaign in the I-League in January 2016.

The Mizoram-based club have been looking at a number of Indian and foreign coaches, most recently offering former Salgaocar coach Derrick Pereira a position as the team’s head coach. The Goan is considered to be one of the best in India but seemed unlikely to join the I-League club after he admitted that he left Pune FC for his home state because of his family.

Manuel Retamero has plenty of experience on the European stage, having coached third division sides Iscar, Real Valladoid B and CD La Granja among many other clubs. His contract will be signed once he arrives in Aizawl, with a club official confirming the deal in his statement.

 "We have agreed a deal in principle with him,” Robert Royte said. “We are expecting him in Aizawl and only then a formal contract will be signed. The length of the contract is not also final. But yes, both the parties have agreed to work together."

Retamero seems to be ready to make the move to India, saying, “Everything I've managed through a contact and negotiations have matured very quickly. Now I'm waiting for the club to send the documentation, but my intention is to travel next week.” 

Fraile’s first job is to retain the Mizoram Premier League title for Aizawl

The first task on the Spanish coach’s agenda will be helping Aizawl FC defend the Mizoram Premier League title. The Mahindra 2 Wheelers Mizoram Premier League is the highest state-level association football league in the state, and the 2015 edition of the tournament begins in September.

Aizawl FC will be pretty confident heading into the I-League after an impressive end to the second division season, which they won. With the addition of an experienced foreign coach, the Mizoram Premier League side can expect a few quality signings to the team. This could help them make their mark in their debut season in India’s top division league, which will be a daunting task for the newcomers.

They will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Royal Wahingdoh, who finished the 2014-15 I-League in third place after getting promoted to the league. The Shillong side held their own against India’s top sides, as they fell seven points short of Bengaluru FC to miss the AFC Cup qualifying play-offs. 

Aizawl confirmed the signing via their twitter page: