Ranko Popovic steps down as FC Pune City head coach

Pune: Ranko Popovic on Wednesday stepped down as the head coach of the Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City with immediate effect.

The Serbian manager, who led the historic run for the club taking them to semifinals in 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 and Buriram United FC coach joined the club in September 2017 and made a lasting impression helping FC Pune City breach the top-four 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.

As many as six young players made impressive debuts under Popovic 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 every one played their role to perfection for us to have a great season. But 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,” 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.(ANI)