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Tuesday, 30 August 2011 14:22

Rui Vitoria takes over at Guimaraes

Search for replacement underway at Pacos

Vitoria de Guimaraes have this afternoon confirmed the arrival of Rui Vitoria as head coach. The 41 year-old, who began the 2011/12 season at Pacos de Ferreira, has replaced Manuel Machado, who tendered his resignation on Friday. Vitoria, who has just one full season of top flight experience, has signed a contract with the Minho club until the end of the current campaign.

After Machado's second tenure in charge at the Afonso Henriques turned sour, the appointment of the more youthful, attack-minded Vitoria comes as no surprise. In his first top flight campaign, Vitoria guided Pacos to the Taca da Liga final and a solid 7th, with his squad producing plenty of entertaining football in the process. With many supporters unhappy about Machado's circumspect tactical approach, President Emile Macedo has responded with an undeniably intriguing appointment. 

Vitoria began his coaching career at Vilafranquense in 2002, also spending two seasons on the Benfica Under-19 coaching staff. He joined Fatima in 2006 and won the II Divisao Serie C title in his first season. Relegation from the then-Liga Vitalis followed, but Vitoria was given a chance to rebuild, and followed up that setback with another title-winning campaign, and then mid-table safety. His arrival at Pacos last summer received little fanfare, but Vitoria soon established himself as one the Liga's brightest up and coming tacticians.

Though Guimaraes are currently in something of a malaise, there is plenty of raw material for Vitoria to work with. The likes of Anderson, Leonel Olimpio (who played under Vitoria at the Mata Real last season), Paulo Sergio and Faouzi are all skilful, inventive players, and a slightly more positive tactical approach ought to see Guimaraes reap the rewards in the coming weeks and months. 

Who next at the Mata Real?

Vitoria's departure leaves Pacos in a not entirely unfamiliar situation - he is the second of their last three coaches to make the short trip north for Guimaraes, Paulo Sergio having done so in 2009. President Carlos Barbosa will no doubt have begun the search for Vitoria's replacement, with today's A Bola reporting that Mitchell van der Gaag, Antonio Conceicao and Joao Carlos Pereira are all in the frame. 

Of the three, van der Gaag presents the most interesting option. The Dutchman (pictured) was treated poorly by Maritimo, who sacked him after a poor start to last season, and has both youth and a hunger to suceed on his side. The top-flight records of Conceicao and Pereira are patchy at best, with neither possessing the 5th-placed finish that van der Gaag achieved with Maritimo in 2009/10. 

Ben Shave

Comments (3)
3 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 20:07
Pacos should make the move for Van der Gaag. He was stiffed at Maritimo and I think he would be a good fit. I think Vitoria will have his hands full at Guimaraes. Machado left for a good reason.
Nothing new for this league
2 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 18:43
I've always liked Guimaraes, so let's hope for the best. The fans deserve better.

I find van der Gaag an interesting option. If I remember correctly he was let go because he wouldn't implement the presidents tactics.
I believe he also plays an open game, so it would be fun to watch. Whether he still has the weapons, is still to be seen.
Good luck
1 Tuesday, 30 August 2011 15:20
Vitoria at Vitoria, I'm a sucker for a good pun.

I think he did an amazing job last year with Paco’s and I loved watching their games last season. I think clubs like Vitoria and Braga have the talent to be the aggressive and just need the right staff to get it out of their team.

Sadly for Paco’s last year’s squad was mainly built of up incoming youth prospects from the larger clubs. With out that talent and a good coach they could be in for a hard season.

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