Photo Courtesy: Pune FC

Pune FC appoint highly-experienced Coach Karim Bencherifa

I-LEAGUE Media Team

NEW DELHI: Pune Football Club have appointed Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa ahead of the 2014-15 season, the Club informed in a statement on Monday, June 9.

Bencherifa, a former I-League and Federation Cup winning coach, becomes Pune FC’s fourth foreign coach signed since the Club’s inception in 2007.

Having put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract, the former Mohun Bagan gaffer added: “I would like to thank the Pune FC management for offering me the position of chief coach of the team.

“I am excited to be associated with such an outstanding Club.”

Bencherifa also sounded confident that with the help of the support staff, he will be able to start his work in the best possible way.

“I am confident I would be able to make a meaningful contribution with the help of the staff, the players, fans and everybody around the club.”

Pune FC Head Operations, Chirag Tanna, said: “Karim is an excellent fit for our club. He has worked well with young players and has managed to get the best out of them. His knowledge and experience on Indian football is second to none and our young players will learn a lot from him.

“I would like to wish Karim the very best of luck for the coming season.”

It was in 2006 when Bencherifa, 46, first stepped on Indian soil to take charge of Goan side Churchill Brothers. During his two year stay in Goa, he guided newly promoted Churchill to a fourth (2006-07) and second (2007-08) place finish in the top-flight.

That followed a two-year stint at Mohun Bagan (2008-10) where he guided the Kolkata giants to a second and fifth place finish in the I-League.

Bencherifa returned to Goa in the following season and led Salgaocar FC to an I-League title (2010-11) and a Federation Cup (2011) double in his two and a half year stint with the Vasco-based club.

Midway through the 2012-13 season, Bencherifa joined Mohun Bagan (2012-14) once again and saved them from relegation in the same season.

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