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Wednesday, 07 October 2009 14:12

Joao Alves takes charge at Servette

Portuguese heads to Geneva

Benfica have allowed coach Joao Alves to leave the club’s academy in order to pursue his managerial career in Switzerland with troubled giants Servette.

Former Portugal international Alves has coached several clubs during his time as a manager, including Boavista, Vitoria Guimaraes, Belenenses and Estrela da Amadora, whom he memorably led to the Portuguese Cup in 1990.

Alves returned to Benfica, where he won two league titles as a player in the early 80’s, to take control of the club’s under-18 side in 2007. However, the 56-year-old has been tempted back into club management with 17-time national champions Servette, who after major financial difficulties currently play in the Swiss Challenge League, the country’s second tier of football.

“I thank Benfica for allowing me to work for two years in the club of my heart,” Alves said before looking ahead to his new adventure. “At the moment I am still testing the waters and I don’t know much about the team. It will be on the pitch that we learn the quality of the team. Servette is like a Benfica in Switzerland. They are in the second division, but they have won many things.”

Already on the books at the Stade de Geneve is 22-year-old Portuguese forward Toze Marreco, who moved to Switzerland this summer after spells in Holland, Spain and Russia. “I am delighted, because he is a big Portuguese name,” said the former Academica youth prospect. “He is a very experienced coach who knows football. I am very motivated and hope to progress with him.”

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