Raikhan, Johnson join Pune FC support staff

Pune, Sep 16 (IANS) Pune FC academy Under-19 coach Gift Raikhan and Englishman Glen Johnson are the new appointees to the senior team technical staff for the upcoming 2013-14 season.

The 32-year-old Raikhan, an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 'C' license holder, takes over the role of assistant coach while Johnson will be Pune FC's first-ever goalkeeping coach. Both appointees will be part of coach Mike Snoei's staff.

Essex-born Johnson is the third Briton after Stewart Hall and Bernard McNally to coach the senior team since the club's inception in 2007. He holds an NSCAA Advanced National GK licence, an IFA Advanced National GK licence and is a SFA GK B licence holder.

The 27-year-old began his coaching career at NASL-side Crystal Palace Baltimore (US) in 2010. During the same period, he also worked as an assistant coach for the women's football team at Goucher College in Baltimore.

The following year (2011) Johnson returned to England where he took up the position of first team goalkeeping coach at Chelmsford City (fifth division).

"It's an exciting project and I want to help Mike with development of the goalkeepers. I am looking forward to lend my expertise to the fullest during my stay," said Johnson.

The Manipur-born Raikhan joined Pune FC as a player and formed the squad in the second division I-League in 2008. Subsequently, he moved on to coach and worked with the Under-15 and Under-17 teams between 2008-2010.

Thereafter, he was elevated to the Peninsula Pune FC Academy (PPFCA) in 2011 as coach of the Under-19 team and under PPFCA academy director Ranjan Chowdhury, guided Pune FC to back-to-back Under-20 I-League titles, a first by any club in the country. Among his other achievements, he guided the club's reserve team to a maiden All India Gold Cup at Indore in 2013.

"It is a big honour to be associated with the senior squad. I thank the management in the faith they had in me and also shortlisting me to assist our head coach," said Raikhan.


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