Shillong, Mar 27: Shillong Lajong have appointed Jose Carlos Rodriguez Hevia as the club’s technical director, it was announced today.

The appointment indicates that Lajong are on a mission to shake things up after a, by their standards, awful 2018-19 where (unless TSR is mistaken) they haven’t won any of the tournaments that they took part in – the 2017 U-18 Shillong Premier League winners finished fourth in 2018; they were runners-up in Shillong Premier League 2018; bowed out in the quarterfinal round of the Elite League (formerly U-18 Youth League, which they won in 2017-18); and, of course, finished dead last in I-League 2018-19.

Rodriguez, who hails from Spain, is the first foreigner (unless TSR is mistaken again) to take up a senior, non-player, post at Lajong since the unsuccessful coaching stint of Desmond Bulpin in 2012-13.

Rodriguez is a UEFA Pro Licence coach with over 25 years of experience at various levels.

Plenty of that experience has come from working in India, having been technical advisor at Arsenal Soccer Schools in India from 2014 to 2016 in Pune. During this time he also worked for Indian Super League side FC Pune City. Rodriguez then moved to Minerva Punjab for the 2017-18 season and the club saw success at the national youth levels as well as winning the I-League. After that he moved to Second Division League club Madhya Bharat in Bhopal.

“It’s a new stage in my career and I’m very excited to take new steps forward with the Lajong community,” SLFC quoted Rodriguez as saying. “All my commitment, effort, knowledge, background and passion will be put everyday into the activities that I’ll have on my hands in order to held the club and all the stakeholders to reach the highest levels of excellence.”

Lajong said that Rodriguez will be actively working in the club’s youth development setup and coach education.

“We are pleased to welcome Jose Carlos Rodriguez Hevia to Shillong Lajong. His appointment reaffirms the club’s commitment to work on grassroots and youth development in a more focused and structured way and help in the development of local talent,” Lajong managing director Larsing Ming Sawyan was quoted as saying.

(Photo contributed by Shillong Lajong FC)

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