Pune FC rope in Dutch coach for next I-League season

Pune, May 8 (IANS) Pune Football Club has appointed highly rated Dutch coach Mike Snoei ahead of next I-League season.

The Rotterdam-based Snoei will be on his first stint in India and is the club’s third foreign coach since its formation in 2007.

The Pune FC management believes that in Snoei there exists a guide with significant experience at the highest level of the game at both youth and senior level. Snoei is expected to arrive in India in the first week of July before taking full charge.

Pune FC director Nandan Piramal said: “Mike will be a great addition to Pune FC. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the top levels of both European and Asian football. As we continue to invest in our academy and youth teams, Mike will be the perfect fit to develop these players and help the club reach our long term goals.”

The 49-year-old’s appointment is the fourth Dutch coach to be involved in Indian football and only the second at club-level.

The vastly travelled Snoei, a defender during his playing days, comes with outstanding pedigree. He began his career at Rotterdam club Feyenoord (1981-82), before moving to neighbouring Excelsior (1982-88) and Sparta (1988-93).

Head Coach Snoei added: “It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with Pune FC, who is one of the premier football clubs of India. As new coach, I hope to bring a new dimension to the team and also develop a style of play along the way. I am sure, that working with young and dynamic players will enable me to further develop as a coach. I also hope to give the team a new vision and grow together with Pune FC.”

Pune FC head of operations Chirag Tanna said: “We are very happy with the appointment of Mike Snoei as our Head Coach. Snoei comes with vast experience of managing and playing in top leagues around the world and we believe that he has what is needed to take Pune FC to the next level.”

Interestingly, at Sparta, Snoei played under current Indian technical director Rob Baan, the then Sparta coach (1988-90). Three years later, Snoei was forced into early retirement due to torn knee ligaments. Snoei, then 29, called it quits at Sparta in 1993.

He was also a part of the Netherlands squad at the FIFA World Youth Championship (U-21) in 1983 Mexico along with the famed striker Marco van Basten.

Early retirement led to coaching youth teams at Sparta until 1996. From there, he shifted to Vitesse Arnhem and moved up the coaching ranks at the club from 1996-2002, where he headed their Youth Academy and second team.

An UEFA Pro License holder (since 2002), Snoei was appointed Head Coach at Vitesse in the Eredivisie (Premier League) for a season. He returned to Sparta as head coach for two seasons from 2003-05, where he led the club to the promotion play-offs before moving to Go Ahead Eagles (2005-08), where he repeated the feat of leading the team to the play-offs for the Eredivisie.

Snoei also remained an assistant to renowned Dutch Coach Henk ten Cate for several years. Snoei assisted Ten Cate at Panathinaikos FC (2008-10), Al Ahli, Dubai (2010), Umm-Salal SC, Qatar (2010-11) and most recently at Shandong Luneng, China (2011-12) before turning to Pune FC.

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