May 28: After weeks of speculation and rumours, Dempo Sports Club has formally signed Arthur Papas today to a three-year contract to take over the head coaching position from Armando Colaco whose contract expires on May 31st.
Papas, who was shortlisted for the “Coach of the Year” award by the Football Players Association of India had guided the Indian National U-22 team to an impressive and memorable AFC U-22 qualifiers campaign in Oman. He comes to Dempo after having successfully coached Kolkata based side ‘Pailan Arrows’.
Highly regarded for his tactical acumen, the 33-year-old Papas will take over from Armando Colaco who is leaving the club after a glorious 13 year career in which he won the “I-League” for a record five times and also guided the team to the semi finals of 2008 edition of AFC Cup where Dempo lost narrowly with Safa FC of Lebanon.
Arthur Papas said he was incredibly grateful and excited about the opportunity and the challenges that will come with coaching one of the most successful teams in the I-League.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I have accepted the opportunity to become the Head Coach of Dempo SC for the next three seasons. I am extremely motivated to take on this challenge and playing a major part in what is a new chapter for this great club” said Mr. Papas
“Dempo SC have been synonymous with success for a very long time, although right now we are now in the middle of a transition period I will still be looking to provide a team that is very competitive from day one, whilst putting an infrastructure in place which sees us promote & develop more and more talented young players who are desperate to be part of Dempo SC for the long term.”
He is also inspired by the vision of the club Director Mr S.V. Dempo in rebuilding the club and uplifting its professionalism “From the moment I was approached by Mr. Shrinivas Dempo, I was sold by his vision for the future, his integrity as a person, and his desire to build Dempo SC beyond more than a first team and to further provide a football club football fans all over India can continue to support and associate with” said the Melbournian.
Arthur Papas has also served the Australian Institute of Sport, Oakleigh Cannons FC and Newcastle Jets in the Australian ‘A-League’ before joining the Indian U-22 national football team as Head Coach.
He is highly regarded for building technical structures which see his teams play an exciting possession based style of football. He is also credited with the impressive performance of the ‘Oakleigh Cannons’ in 2011 which saw him become the youngest ever to earn the “Coach of the year” award by the Football Federation Victoria.
Director of Dempo Sports Club, Mr. Shrinivas V. Dempo was confident of a promising future for the club
“With football in India set for a radical change, it was in good interest that we introduced fresh Ideas and create a proper mix of youth and experience to compete at the national and continental levels.”
“We are convinced by his (Papas) work, in that we have seen the progress of the teams under him and the kind of good motivation that he has infused among the players of the India U-22 and Pailan Arrows” said Mr. Dempo.
With the confirmation of Arthur Papas at Dempo, the announcement regarding their foreign signings will soon be expected in the coming weeks. He will take over the reins of Dempo SC from the first week of July.