St. George appoint Portuguese coach
Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) titleholders St. George FC announced the appointment of Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto on Wednesday. The new coach took over the team on a two-year contract, the club said.
The Horsemen unveiled the new coach replacing Dutch coach Mart Nooji, who was forced to leave the team after he suffered a stroke following a regular training session. After the departure of Mart Nooji the team finished the remaining season under assistant coaches Fasil Tekalign and Zerihun Shengeta.
Carlos Vaz Pinto, who is a new face for African football, spent six months with Angola’s Clube Recreative Desportivo do Libolo. Vaz Pinto managed to guide Libolo to the Total CAF Confederations Cup group stages, finishing third behind eventual quarter finalists DR Congo giants TP Mazembe and Sudanese side Al Hilal El Obied in 2017.
The inclusion of the Portuguese coach is expected to improve the Horsemen’s 2018 CAF’s African Champions League campaign.
St. George has collected the EPL trophy a record 14 times and won the title for the fourth consecutive year. It is also eight times champion of the Ethiopia Cup, a city cup tournament held between eight teams every year. It is to be remembered that the Horsemen managed to advance to the group stages of CAF’s premium club tournament— African Champions League.
After Mart Nooji part ways with St. George, the champions were busy looking for new coaches for the coming EPL season. According to the report by Soccer Ethiopia, the Dutch coach showed interest to return to Addis Ababa after recovering from his illness. However, St. George decided to hire a new manager.
Reports from Tunisia indicate that former St. George coach may have secured a place at the league side Jeunesse Sportive Kairouanaise or JSK.
St. George has had a long tradition of appointing foreign coaches since 2004. Coaches from Netherland, Serbia, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, Brazil and Portugal were among the few who have worked with the current EPL champions.