Odisha FC have officially announced Kiko Ramirez as their new head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season. The Spanish coach replaces Stuart Baxter at the Odisha hot-seat.
Stuart Baxter had a season to forget, Odisha FC finished bottom of the league and had only two wins to their credit in the entire season. Kiko Ramirez, his successor, will have an uphill task, but the fans are glad to see the return of Spanish football at their club. The fans loved the way the club played under their first coach Josep Gombau, and they would be the happiest to see a Spanish coach return at the helm.
"I am very excited to arrive in India and start working on this amazing project with Odisha FC to make our fans feel proud of the team. We are going to work hard to build a strong team with good players that represent our fan base." said Kiko on joining Odisha.
Kiko Ramirez started his career as a player and was a forward in his playing days. He started his coaching career with Gimnàstic as an assistant manager and became the head coach at CF Pobla de Mafumet from the Third división. He was back at Gimnastic as the team's head coach in a year but had a stint to forget.
OFC has also roped in the services of Joaquín "Kino" García Sánchez as Assistant Coach and Head of Football Development ahead of the 2021-22 ISL season.
Joaquín, who has a UEFA Pro License, has a lot of experience in developing players and is a former coach at Valencia CF's youth teams. He has coached many important players who are currently playing in the first division in Spain and also directed the Valencia CF Academy in Seoul. He also coached Levante UD in the first division of women's football in Spain for several seasons. He was also the Director of Coaches in the Valencia area, working for the Spanish Federation.
Speaking on the Assistant Coach, Mr. Athwal stated, "I am also pleased to welcome our Assistant Coach Joaquin who has an impressive track record of developing players from the youth set up to the first team. His experience of coaching and developing the youth teams at Valencia CF will be paramount as we look to build and strengthen our Academy in Odisha. As an expert in Coaching, we have no doubt Joaquin alongside Coach Ramirez will bring much-needed success to Odisha Football Club."
After joining OFC, the Spanish Assistant Coach and OFC's new Head of Football Development explained, "I am happy to be part of the team as Assistant Coach of the first team and Head of Football Development for the Club. I am really looking forward to start training with the great team that we are building. To all the fans, you will feel proud of us. See you in the pitch."
After Gimnastic, Kiko coached three teams in Spain across divisions and then had coaching stints in Poland and Greece. The Juggernauts can expect a possession-based style of football, with a lot of pressing when the team loses the ball. Kiko has widely adapted a system that focuses more on the holding midfielders and the winger that come inward and become attacking midfielders.
We can expect the team to play a 4-3-3 or even a 4-2-2-2 throughout the season. The coach has a lot of flexibility in his playing style and will demand the players to be hardworking and be tactically adept. He would also look forward to having a solid defensive base, hinting that Shubham Sarangi will stay at the club.
The club and their fans would be hoping that Kiko changes their fortunes and leads them to the playoffs in his debut season at the club.