Punjab FC parted ways with I-League-winning head coach Staikos Vergetis earlier last month. The Greek tactician led the Shers to win the I-League in his debut season in India, which ensured their promotion to the Indian Super League (ISL) for the 2023-24 season.

Vergetis’ side took considerable time to settle into the new league. However, they strengthened their squad midseason, resulting in a resurgence in the latter half of the season, propelled by the brilliance of their attacking trio: Luka Majcen, Madih Talal, and Wilmar Jordan Gil.

Punjab FC narrowly missed out on a playoff spot, finishing 8th in the table, just three points behind sixth-placed Chennaiyin FC. The club aims to improve on last season’s performance and secure a playoff spot under new management.

The Shers, on Saturday, appointed Panagiotis Dilmperis as the club's new head coach for the upcoming season. Dilmperis will be supported by Konstantinos Katsaras as assistant coach and Papaioannou Ioannis as the strength and conditioning coach.

The Greek head coach, boasting an impressive managerial and player record, looks forward to the challenges ahead in the new country and aims to make a mark in the ISL.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new Punjab FC head coach.

Who is Panagiotis Dilmperis?

Born in Thessaloniki, the Greek manager brings a wealth of tactical understanding and managerial discipline to Punjab FC. With fifteen years of coaching experience, he has previously managed ten teams before joining Punjab FC.

Playing Career

Dilmperis enjoyed a distinguished playing career as a goalkeeper, featuring for several clubs in his native Greece. Standing at 6ft 4in, he began his journey with Poseidon Neas Michanionas in 1996, followed by a brief spell at Atromitos Plagiariou.

In 1999, he moved to Iraklis Thessaloniki, where he spent nearly eight seasons and garnered numerous accolades. During his tenure, he appeared in 47 matches and represented the club in the UEFA Cup play-offs in 2000.

After his successful stint, Dilmperis joined Agrotikos Asteras ahead of the 2006-07 season, where he played for four years, making 44 appearances, conceding 52 goals, and keeping 13 clean sheets. He retired from professional football in 2010.

Managerial Career

After retirement, Dilmperis swiftly transitioned into coaching and assumed the role of head coach at Greek side PS Serres. Holding a UEFA A Licence, he previously led A.E. Ermionida FC before joining Punjab FC.

In his fifteen-year managerial career, he has overseen several prestigious clubs, including Panserraikos FC, Rochester NY FC, and Iraklis Larisas FC. Dilmperis managed Agrostikos Asteras twice, in 2012-13 and 2014-15, and later guided Pansseraikos during the 2016-17 season. He began his coaching journey in the United States with Rochester NY FC as an academy coach, eventually ascending to the position of head coach for the first team. After a successful four-year tenure, he moved to Iraklis Larisas for the 2022-23 season before joining A.E. Ermionida FC for the 2023-24 season.

His extensive experience both as a player and coach positions him well to contribute significantly to Punjab FC's upcoming season.

Philosophy and Approach  

Dilmperis is known for his attacking mindset and preference for the 4-2-3-1 formation, a strategy he has employed at his previous clubs. Following the departure of the former head coach, Punjab FC has parted ways with five foreign players and several Indian players. This provides the new head coach with a significant opportunity to lead a major squad overhaul this season. The management is eager to align with the coach's strategy to propel the team to a stronger position in the league standings.