The tactician has previously managed the club’s northeastern rivals Aizawl FC.

In a surprising turn of events, Manipuri side NEROCA FC have appointed former Aizawl FC gaffer Manuel Retamero Fraile as the head coach for the upcoming season. The Spanish coach replaces Gift Raikhan at the helm of the outfit, who has taken over from Santosh Kashyap at Aizawl FC.

“I am very excited to head to Imphal, Manipur to coach NEROCA FC. The club had achieved wonders in its first season in the I-League and I hope we keep up the good work and build something even bigger,” Fraile said his after his appointment.

The newly-appointed tactician also praised the fans of the Manipur-based outfit as he went on to say, “Most importantly, the Orange Brigade have been amazing throughout the season and I hope they extend their endless support this season too.”

“Lastly, I would like to thank the club management for this opportunity and looking forward to a great season ahead,” he further added.


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The 45-year-old UEFA Pro License coach was previously plying his trade at Mongolian side UB City FC. He also has the experience of coaching at Betis CF and Real Valladolid among others and as well as having been the Technical Director at the Bahrain Football Association.

NEROCA FC, who finished as the runners-up in the I-League 2017-18 season, were subject to praise from all over the country for their gameplay. A shrewd tactician in Raikhan, who helped them achieve promotion from the 2nd Division I-League only the season before, also broke into Indian football with his clever strategies which saw them in contention for the I-League title last season.

Filling the boots of such a personality, Fraile is expected to be sitting atop of a lot of expectations- which include rebuilding his squad as well as delivering an eye-catching brand of football which has been the case with the club since the last campaign.

However, the Spanish tactician will have the services of old war-horses Subhash Singh, Felix Chidi, Kallon Varney and Lalit Thapa among others who are expected to help him settle into his new role.