AIZAWL FC HAVE SIGNED Spanish coach Manuel Retamero Fraile as their head coach ahead of their maiden campain in the top-division I-League.
The 41-year-old coach from Volladolid has previously plied his trade at Spanish Tercera Division clubs like Villa de Simacans and CD La Granja, the B team of Real Valladolid who play in the Segunda Division B, and Betis CF while they were in the Segunda Division. He also worked for a few months at Libyan Premier League club Al Ittihad SCSC in the past, before being appointed as the Technical Director of Libyan football, as well as the coach of their Under 19 national team.
Preparing for a historic season as the first club from Mizoram to play in the top tier league of the country, Aizawl FC have been going through a major overahul. While their recent signings have shown they fully intend to maintain the homegrown, youthful flavour of the team they are known for.
However, a promotion above the 2nd Division requires a major overhaul in terms of professionalism and infrastructure. Their home ground, the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium Mualpui, is undergoing major renovation to expand its capacity to 20,000 and upgrades in dressing room and other facilities. The appointment of Retamero comes as part of part of the same process of transformation 'the Peoples' Club' are going through.
Before they take to the pitch in the I-League, Aizawl FC are to participate in the Mizoram Premier League. The highly popular local league kicks off next month, and it will be the best opportunity for the club to bleed in new players and get their game plan right ahead of their big introduction into the nation's biggest championship. Retamero is expected to take charge of the squad well before the MPL starts.
The deal is yet to be sealed with contracts being signed and all, but we have already received the best, biggest, most official form of confirmation this planet has to offer:
The rest of the stuff, including pen meeting paper, will be done when Retamero arrives in Aizawl in a week or so. But all in all, the capital of Mizoram seems to be gearing up for a massive season of football that will be remembered for a very long time.