I-League champions Aizawl FC has appointed Portuguese Paulo Menezes as their new head coach for the 2017-18 Season. The 39-year-old Menezes is expected to arrive in Aizawl early next week to assume his new role.
The defending champions had been without a head coach for several months, after the club earlier parted company with Khalid Jamil, who was later signed by Kolkata giants East Bengal.
Menezes started out his footballing career as a player in 1996, and played for various clubs in the Portuguese second and third division. He has got coaching experiences in places like Panama, Laos, Portugal and was part of the coaching setup which masterminded the triumphs of the invincible Spanish National Team during its golden era.
Speaking about the move, Menezes said that he felt the defending champions to be the right choice for him. “I have learnt about Indian football since 4 years ago and I have spoken to many people about it and how much it has grown over the years. I want to be part of this and Aizawl FC is right at the heartbeat of this crescendo of development”.
“I will like my players to play the offensive game with a high level of ball possession so that they can create many scoring chances. Depending on the game situation, we will vary the tempo of our attack but the main focus is on ball [retention],” said Menezes.
Vowing to draft as many players as he can into the Indian National team, he said, “I will like to help the players improve their skills – be it technically or tactically, so they can become more competitive and maintain a strong mentality before and during the game. I believe I can contribute to Indian football by getting as many of the local players into the National Team as possible. I derive an immense sense of pride whenever I see my players put on their national colors.”