Crawley Town have replaced Harry Kewell with Gabriele Cioffi, who has been confirmed as their new head coach on a three-year deal.
The 43-year old played for a host of clubs in Italy’s Serie B, including Spezia, Torino and Ascoli. He has previously spent time on the coaching staff at Birmingham City under Gianfranco Zola, but take up his major first role in English football.
Crawley’s director of football, Selim Gaygusuz, said: “We had over 80 applicants for the vacancy and appointing a new head coach has been an exhaustive process which we started more than a week ago. We wanted a head coach with passion, dedication and someone who is prepared to work hard to improve our existing squad.”
“In our extensive discussions with Gabriele we were impressed with his ideas and enthusiasm for the job and his short and long-term vision.”
Of his appointment, Cioffi said: “When someone offers you a job like this, it is a great chance for a coach. I don’t need a job. I wanted this job .”I trust the potential of the team. For two or three years I have been following League Two and League One. I think it was the right step for me career and the right environment to start my adventure as manager.”
He will be in the stands for Saturday’s match at Lincoln, but the team will be taken by Filipe Morais and Jimmy Smith.
Traditionally, foreign coaches in League Two simply hasn’t worked. As times and methods progress, perhaps that can change.
Kewell’s departure leaves a big hole to fill and it seems strange that an unproven, untested man such as Cioffi is entrusted with such a demanding role. Time will tell if this is absolute genius, or sheer stupidity.