FC Goa announced that former defender Carlos Pena will take over as the club’s new head coach from next Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season onwards.

Pena, who was an integral part of the FC Goa side that won the League Winners’ Shield in 2019-20 campaign, is a fan favourite among the FC Goa faithful and his return to the club albeit in a different role has sparked optimism that he will bring back the good days to the club.

“It’s always an exciting story to hear a former player taking charge of the club and taking it to glory, and herewith Pena at the club it’s no different. I have heard about his fiery motivational talks in the dressing room and with the players, how he breathes life into dead wood,” Ashlesh Ajgaonkar, a FC Goa fan, told ANI.

“As a player he always gave everything and I am sure as a coach, the kind of personality he has, he will put his all in,” he added.

Also Read: We lifted two trophies together, it’s a joy to have Carlos Pena back: FC Goa’s Seriton Fernandes

Pena made 39 appearances for the club between 2018 and 2020 and his knowledge about the club is sure to come handy as he takes up the challenge of restoring FC Goa as a genuine title contender next season.

“Having been with the team before, he has the knowledge of the players and that of how FC Goa wants to play. So I am being positive and looking forward to a great season,” stated Anthony Fernandes, a fan from Candolim.

“He may not have much experience being a coach of a senior team but he can counter that with his knowledge of the ISL,” he added.

The Spaniard will be taking over from Derrick Periera, who coached the Gaurs for the final three months of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season. Pena will be the third Spanish head coach of FC Goa after Sergio Lobera and Juan Ferrando, and he will be expected to continue the possession-based playing style that has become ingrained in FC Goa's fabric.

FC Goa fans are hoping that his connection with the club will help him give it his all for its cause.

“I remember the days Carlos Pena hung up his boots. After all, he had been a major part of the most successful phase at the club,” stated Gautham, a FC Goa fan from Trivandrum.

“The team has not done quite so well since then and it shows how big a void he left behind. Now that he is back, even though in a different role, I strongly feel he will make as much of an impact as he did during his playing days,” he added.

FC Goa endured a tough Hero ISL 2021-22 season as they finished ninth in the table, recording just four wins all season. Restoring the confidence of the squad and strengthening the weaker areas in the team will be one of the many tasks that the Spaniard will have to undertake ahead of the new season.

The Gaurs will be expected to put up a much better showing next season and with Pena at the helm they will be hoping to return to the top end of the table next season.