May 10, 2021

Floyd Pinto set to join Punjab FC as assistant coach

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The former Indian Arrows coach will be assistant to Curtis Fleming…

Floyd Pinto is set to join Punjab FC as the assistant coach in the upcoming I-League season, Goal can confirm. 

In 2017, he joined Luís Norton de Matos as his deputy for the U-17 India National Team. Pinto spent one year as the head coach of the Indian Arrows in the 2018-19 season. Under his tutelage, the team finished sixth in I-League in 2018-19.

He was also in charge of the India U19 team for a while. However, his time came to an end after the team’s poor performance in the AFC U19 qualifiers in Saudi Arabia where India lost all three matches.

Pinto has won the U-18 I-League in his career twice once as a coach and as an assistant coach on another occassion.  He has also lifted the Subroto Cup as the head coach of the AIFF U-17 team in 2015. 

He will work with former Middlesborough manager Curtis Fleming. The 51-year-old tactician started his coaching career as an interim manager of Crystal Palace in 2012. After spending four months with the Eagles, he moved to Bolton Wanderers as the manager. He then spent two stints at Hartlepool United and Queens Park Rangers respectively honing his skills as an assistant manager. 

They have also roped in Nikolaos Topoliatis as the new technical director who replaces Michael Browne. The 37-year-old has worked as a youth coach with Greek side Olympiacos for more than 12 years. He served as a technical director of the academy from 2017 to 2019. He also trained various youth teams like U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19.  He won the championship with K15 in the 2015-2016 season as a coach. He also bagged the 2016-2017 championship with K17.  Whereas, as a technical director, he won the championship with K17 in the 2017-2018 season. 

In July 2019, I-League club Minerva Punjab had agreed to a deal with Round Glass. The 2019-20 I-League season also saw Minerva Punjab getting rebranded as Punjab FC, after Round Glass’ investment. RoundGlass had taken 50 per cent of the club’s shares and in March 2020, they bought the remaining shares to complete the takeover.

Punjab in the upcoming season will participate in the I-League but are eventually keen to make a jump to the Indian Super League (ISL) in the near future.