Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC have confirmed the appointment of former FC Goa manager Sergio Lobera as the team’s new head coach. He replaces Jorge Costa who parted ways with the club at the end of last season.
The Spaniard who was sacked by FC Goa ahead of the semi-finals last season led the club to three consecutive semi-final appearances and a runners-up finish in 2019.
Lobera was instrumental in instilling a footballing philosophy at FC Goa that has since become the identity of the club.
Lobera’s arrival is set to mark the beginning of a major overhaul at the Mumbai-based club after City Football Group bought majority stakes in the franchise last year.
Lobera said that the opportunity to work with CFG was a big factor in his decision to join the club
“I am absolutely delighted to join Mumbai City FC. I have enjoyed my time in the ISL so far, but for me, there is still much to be achieved and I believe we will have the players, partners and management to be very competitive next season. I think the Islanders have huge potential and I’m looking forward to working with the players as soon as possible,” Lobera told the club’s official website.
“The opportunity to work with Mumbai City FC and City Football Group in the next chapter of my career was also a big attraction of the role and I am impressed by the infrastructure, connectivity and thinking that goes across all of their clubs around the world,” he added.
According to media reports, Lobera is set to bring along with some key players from FC Goa that include centre-back Mourtada Fall and Goa captain Mandar Rao Dessai. Kerala Blasters striker Bartholomew Ogbeche is also set to make the switch to Mumbai City ahead of the new season.
Lobera will also bring in a fresh backroom staff that includes assistant coach Jesús Tato and fitness and conditioning coach, Manuel Sayabera. Both join Sergio from FC Goa. Goalkeeping coach, Juan Maria Cruz Arias, also joins the coaching staff after having worked previously with Sergio at Moroccan club Moghreb Tétouan.
The new season of the ISL begins behind closed doors in Goa in November. Mumbai City FC who have made the semi-finals only twice will hope for a renewed push for the ISL title under Lobera.