Mumbai, Jun 1 (IANS): Mumbai City FC on Thursday announced the return of Spain's Juan Maria Cruz Arias as the goalkeeping coach for a second stint.
The Spaniard was part of the club's coaching staff during the 2020-21 season, winning the League Winners' Shield and the ISL Trophy.
The 55-year-old brings to Mumbai City FC his vast experience having previously coached at clubs like Cádiz CF and CD Mirandés (Spain), Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia), Moghreb Tétouan (Morocco), Al Ahli SC and Umm Salal SC (Qatar) and most recently at fellow CFG club Sichuan Jiuniu in China.
Cruz will join Des Buckingham's first team coaching staff along with Hiroshi Miyazawa (assistant coach), Anthony Fernandes (assistant coach) and Danny Deigan (strength & conditioning coach).
Welcoming him back, Buckingham said, "With his vast coaching experience, Juanma is a great addition to our coaching staff. Everyone at Mumbai City FC who has worked with Juanma spoke highly of him and his familiarity with the Club, the players and the staff here will certainly be an advantage. I am pleased to welcome Juanma to our staff group and I look forward to closely working with him."
Reacting to his appointment, Cruz said, "My experience of working at Mumbai City FC during my first spell here in 2020 was very fulfilling. The management and the staff gave me the platform to be able to work to the best of my abilities, and I was proud I could contribute to winning the 'double' with the biggest club in India."
"Naturally, when the opportunity came about to return to Mumbai City FC, I did not need a second thought. I'm looking forward to working together with Des Buckingham, his staff, the players and most importantly, the goalkeepers. I believe that we can continue to achieve big things like the club has in recent years and I am looking forward to helping the club in the pursuit of success," he added.