First Team Staff
Goa-born Derrick Pereira was handed responsibility of guiding Pune FC in ‘elite’ I-League after the side qualified to play the 2009-10 season. His appointment gave him the distinction of being the first Indian and non-British coach of the team after Englishman Stewart Hall and Irishman Bernard McNally were at the helm during Pune FC’s Second Division campaign .
Derrick came in with the credentials of having successfully coached I-League clubs in Vasco SC, Goa and the now disbanded Mahindra United for nearly a decade. The move to Pune FC, which was comparatively in a nascent stage, showed that Pune FC had undeniable promise.
The former defender’s story began in the late 70s when he started playing for local Goa clubs. His first move to a top club was with Salgaocar SC in 1980 where he stayed on till 1983. Later he moved on to Tata SC and then back to Salgaocar in 1985. Interestingly, he stayed on at Salgaocar till the end of his career in 1999.
Among’st the highlights of his career were leading Goa to victory in the 1980 Junior National Championship. Another highlight was leading Salgaocar to a win in the 1990 Rovers Cup which the team won after downing Dempo in the final. He was also part of the senior India side from 1984-91.
His coaching career began when he, freshly retired from active playing, began coaching Salgaocar Under-19s. That was a job which he held for two seasons. Next came the biggie – coaching the first team at Vasco SC which he did for five seasons till 2005. Another prominent assignment was coaching Mahindra United from 2005 to 09. Pereira, who is a certified AFC Pro Licence coach, finally signed up for Pune FC.
Periera is a highly respected name, and coaches with the same calm confidence that he manned the back of the field as a defender. Some of India^s biggest stars swear by his name and the three year contract should be a big help for the team.
For the many youngsters (and even the stars), Pereira’s long term presence is something that they will be thankful for. Especially considering the whole list of title wins that Pereira has been part of, some of which include, the National Football League 2005-06, Federation Cup 2005-06, IFA Shield 2006-07, 2007-08, the Durand Cup 2008-09, Mumbai League 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.