ISL 2018: FC Pune City parts ways with head coach Ranko Popovic after historic season
This coach had powered FC Pune City to a historic semifinal finish last season
Pune, 29th May 2018: - The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League club FC Pune City’s head coach Ranko Popovic would be leaving his position at the club. The Serbian manager, who led the historic run for the club taking them to semifinals in the 2017-18 season, opted to call it a day on his time with Stallions seeking fresh challenges.
“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. But like someone has said, “All Good Things Come To An End’ and so has his journey with us. 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,” said FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel.
The former Real Zaragoza & Buriram United FC coach joined the club in September 2017 and made a lasting impression helping FC Pune City breach the top-4 barrier, a first time in the club’s four-year history. Under Popovic, the club established a reputation of playing an aggressive brand of football that helped FC Pune City remain among the top teams consistently through the season. Showing faith in club’s youth system, under Popovic as many as six young players made impressive debuts for FC Pune City in Indian Super League, including two from the club’s Academy.
“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 everyone played their role to perfection for us to have a great season. But the decision to part ways is one of the toughest I have had to make 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,” said Popovic of his short yet eventful journey with FC Pune City.
Popovic took reins of the team post the ISL Draft in July 2017. His ‘score on goal more than your opponent’ philosophy showed results as the club ended scoring 31 goals through the season, more than twice of what the club scored in its previous season. Adding to it, the club registered just two losses in ten away matches, including the semi-final second leg against Bengaluru FC.