The Indian Super League’s (ISL) Pune franchise, FC Pune City, have named Ranko Popovic as the new head coach for the coming season.

The Serbian began his managerial career in 2001 with Austrian club TuS FC Arnfels followed by a stint with another Austrian club FC Pachern from 2004-2006. In 2006, he took the reins of Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J1 league for a year before going back to his homeland coaching FC Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga until 2009.

“I am delighted to be joining FC Pune City,” said Popovic. “The people at the club, their vision and their values together with the opportunity to develop and build this team to its full potential made this an offer that was difficult to turn down. I can’t wait to get started.”

“In Ranko, we have a manager with distinguished coaching career spanning 15 years,” said Modwel. “His successful stints in different leagues vastly differing in cultural environment and football ecosystem, especially in Asia, makes him very relevant for FC Pune City.

Also accounting for his experience in Europe, Popovic led Segunda Division club Real Zaragoza and took them to finals of the La Liga play-offs in the 2014/15 season. At his last club before coming to India, he won the Thai League Cup and Mekong Club Championship with Buriram United FC.

Significantly, FC Pune City will take on Delhi Dynamos FC in their first game at home of the upcoming tournament, which kicks-off on November 17 in Kolkata.