Panaji: After weeks of speculation, Dempo Sports Club on Tuesday formally signed Arthur Papas as its coach for the next three years.
The Australia-born Papas, who was shortlisted for the "Coach of the Year" award by the Football Players Association of India, had guided the Indian National Under-22 team to an impressive AFC U-22 qualifiers campaign in Oman.
He comes to Dempo after having successfully coached Kolkata-based 'Pailan Arrows'.
Highly regarded for his tactical acumen, the 33-year-old Papas will take over from Armando Colaco who is leaving the club after a 13-year stint in which he won the I-League for a record five times and also guided the team to the semi-finals of AFC Cup in 2008.
Papas said he was excited by the opportunity that has come his way and the challenges that will come by coaching one of the most successful teams in the I-League.
Papas has also served the Australian Institute of Sport, Oakleigh Cannons FC and Newcastle Jets in the Australian 'A-League' before joining the Indian U-22 national football team as head coach.
He is also credited with the impressive performance of the 'Oakleigh Cannons' in 2011 which saw him become the youngest ever to earn the "Coach of the year" award by the Football Federation Victoria.
Director of Dempo Sports Club Shrinivas Dempo said, "We are convinced by his (Papas) work, in that we have seen the progress of the teams under him and the kind of motivation that he has infused among the players of the India U-22 and Pailan Arrows."
He will take over the reins of Dempo SC from the first week of July.