Pune FC appoint Bencherifa as coach

Pune: Pune FC have appointed experienced Moroccan Karim Bencherifa as coach for a two-year term ahead of the 2014-15 season.

A former I-League and Federation Cup winning coach, Bencherifa becomes Pune FC`s fourth foreign coach since its inception in 2007.

Pune FC Owner, Nandan Piramal said: "I would like to welcome Karim to Pune FC and would like to wish him the very best of luck."

Having coached twelve different teams in five different countries from three continents in a career spanning over two decades, Bencherifa brings along a wealth of experience.

Bencherifa said: "I would like to thank the Pune FC management for offering me the position of chief coach of the team.

"I am excited to be associated with such an outstanding organization/club. I am confident I would be able to make a meaningful contribution with the help of the staff, the player?s fans and everybody around the club."

Pune FC Head Operations, Chirag Tanna, said: "Karim is an excellent fit for our club. Karim has worked well with young players and has managed to get the best out of them. His knowledge and experience on Indian football is second to none and our young players will learn a lot from him.

"I would like to wish Karim the very best of luck for the coming season."

Forty-six year old Bencherifa, a midfielder in his playing days, plied his trade at three Rabat (Moroccan capital city) clubs - Club A S M F Rabat (1987?89), Stade Marocain (1990?92) and 3COM Rabat (1992?93) before turning to coaching.

It was in 2006 when Bencherifa first stepped on Indian soil to take charge of Goan side Churchill Brothers. During his two-year stay in Goa, he guided newly promoted Churchill to a fourth (2006-07) and second (2007-08) place finish in the top-flight.

That followed a two year-stint at Mohun Bagan (2008-10) where he guided the Kolkata giants to a second and fifth-place finish in the I-League.

Bencherifa returned to Goa the following season and led Salgaocar FC to an I-League (2010-11) and a Federation Cup (2011) double in his two and a half year stint with the Vasco-based club.

Midway through the 2012-13 season, Bencherifa joined Mohun Bagan (2012-14) once again and saved them from relegation in the same season.

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