Shillong, Jun 7: A day after Aizawl FC announced that it had pinched NEROCA’s coach Gift Raikhan, the Manipur-based club repaid the favour (of sorts) by informing that Manuel Retamero will lead the team in the 2018-19 season.

NEROCA made the announcement on their social media channels, welcoming the Spanish coach to the club that finished as runners-up in I-League 2017-18.

Retamero had joined Aizawl in the months leading up to their debut I-League in the 2015-16 season. While he had some success locally, his run in the I-League lasted just one month as he was swiftly bundled out of Aizawl in February 2016 after his club had won just one out of their first six I-League matches. The Mizoram outfit would go on to finish the year in second from last position.

Expectations are going to be high of Retamero, as NEROCA were in the running for the I-League title right up until the final day. Their second-place finish is the best of any of the six clubs from the North East in their debut I-League season and they’ll be aiming to go one better and win the championship in the coming year.

The 45-year-old started his coaching career at Betis CF in 2001 and has been at the helm of various clubs all over the world. Most recently, he was with Ulaanbaatar City FC in Mongolia where he steered his team to second in the national league.

On his Facebook page Retamero announced that he had left the Mongolian club on 4th June and when TSR checked today he had already changed his job status to ‘Head Coach at NEROCA FC’.

(Photo: Manuel Retamero Fraile/Facebook)

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