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Vincenzo Annese replaces Marco Balbul as NorthEast United FC head coach

Former Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Annese will take over from predecessor Marco Balbul, who parted ways with the Highlanders earlier on Thursday.

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Guwahati: NorthEast United FC have appointed Italian Vincenzo Alberto Annese as their new head coach, the club confirmed on Thursday.

Former Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Annese will take over from predecessor Marco Balbul, who parted ways with the Highlanders earlier on Thursday.

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Annese is a well known figure in Indian football, having guided Gokulam Kerala FC to back-to-back I-League titles from 2020-22. They were the first Indian club to achieve this feat, and under his guardianship, the side also featured in the AFC Cup, where they bowed out in the group stages. He then parted ways with Gokulam Kerala FC in June.

Annese has plenty of experience when it comes to coaching, having plied his trade in countries such as Italy, Estonia, Ghana, Indonesia, Latvia, Palestine, and Kosovo. At the international level, he has also coached Armenian under-19 national team and the Belize national team.

NorthEast United FC will hope that the appointment of Annese will help them change their fortunes as they sit at the bottom of the ISL 2022-23 standings. The Guwahati-based club have been winless in eight games and face Chennaiyin FC next on Saturday.

Marco Balbul, who was appointed as the head coach of the club ahead of the ISL 2022-23 season, makes his way out of the club after managing just eight matches for his side in this campaign.

While the results didn’t come through for the Highlanders, their campaign was tainted by an injury crisis to several of their players. The Guwahati-based side were unable to collect points, losing all eight of their matches played under the guardianship of Balbul.

The side sits at the bottom of the table after eight matches and have a great distance to cover in their remaining 12 matches, with the season about to cross the midway mark.

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