ISL 2018-19: Sergio Lobera extends FC Goa contract by one year
FC Goa announced on Sunday that Head Coach Sergio Lobera has extended his stay at the club. The Spaniard put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension that will see him stay with the club till the end of the 2019/20 Indian Super League season.
Under Lobera, FC Goa reached the semi-finals in 2017/18 and now in his second season, the Gaurs find themselves at the top of the leader board heading into the second international break.
Ever since the Spaniard took over the reins last season, Goa has been able to carve out an identity of being the most entertaining side in the ISL. With the Head Coach preaching a philosophy of attack, FC Goa scored 43 goals last season – the highest any team has ever scored in a single season of the ISL.
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The Gaurs look set to challenge the mark in Lobera’s second season in command, having already bagged 21 goals in their first 7 games.
Speaking on the occasion, Sergio Lobera stated, “Firstly I would like to thank the President and the Board of Directors for having faith in me. I am grateful to them that they not only gave me the opportunity to lead such a fantastic side but also to give me the freedom to build a team that I hope is worthy of the representing the great footballing heritage of Goa. Also, I want to say thanks to our fans. They have been amazing. They have not only been the 12th man in the stands but have also treated me, my family and our players with such respect and love that cannot be put into words. We have always been made to feel at home.
“In the days to come I hope to grow together – myself and the team. We hope to achieve many more things. This has been a fantastic experience for me. Personally, I would have to commend the club for building an environment around which we all can develop in both the personal and professional spheres. There is still a lot to do, I have to be steadfast and challenge myself every day to help the club reach its true potential in the future.”
Akshay Tandon, Club President, FC Goa, also expressed delight at having secured Sergio Lobera’s service till the end of next season, “We are really happy to extend Sergio’s contract. He has been an absolute professional and has time and again put the club ahead of his own needs in terms of the decision he has taken since taking over as Head Coach. We, as a club, have always tried to look at things with the long-term future in mind. With Sergio staying another season, our future becomes a lot clearer.
“We not only wanted to have success in the ISL but also build ourselves a strong identity. I believe that our brand of football and the results that has brought in along with it has helped us achieve both. All the credit goes to Sergio, his team and the players.
“I am confident to say that with the way our technical operations are set up in Goa, and with Sergio at the helm, we have become one of the top two destinations for players in the ISL. We have to answer to the same and create an environment that helps uphold our philosophy/ identity in the future.”