FC Pune City and coach Ranko Popovic part ways

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Pune, May 30 (IANS) Indian Super League franchise FC Pune City have parted ways with head coach Ranko Popovic, the club said in a statement.

The Serbian manager, who led the historic run for the club taking them to the semi-finals in the 2017-18 season, opted to call it a day on his time with the 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,” 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-4 barrier, a first time in the club’s four-year history.

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Under Popovic, the club established a reputation for playing an aggressive brand of football that helped FC Pune City remain among the top teams through the season.

Under him as many as six young players made impressive debuts for FC Pune City in the 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 make for a while,” said Popovic of his short yet eventful journey with FC Pune City.

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Popovic took the 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 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.

–IANS

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