Abel Ferreira appointed new PAOK coach
PAOK FC announce they have appointed Abel Ferreira as head coach, after reaching a deal with SC Braga. The 40-year old Portuguese tactician has agreed to a three-year contract and will fly to the Netherlands where the “Double-Headed Eagle” are holding their preseason training.
Born on 22 December 1978 in Penafiel, Portugal, Abel Fernando Moreira Ferreira got into football at a young age and joined FC Penafiel’s youth ranks in 1989. He developed and joined the senior side of the club in 1997, earning his first professional appearances. With 62 official matches under his belt, he moved to Vitória de Guimarães in 2000, where he made his Primeira Liga debut.
He quickly established himself as one of the best full-backs in the league. After four seasons at Vitória, he made the leap to SC Braga in 2004. His displays attracted the interest of Sporting CP who first signed him on loan and then made the deal permanent. He played for the Lisbon Lions until 2011, when he decided to hang up his football boots, after having won two Portuguese Cups and two Super Cups and having featured in the UEFA Champions League with Sporting CP.
Moving on to become a manager was a no-brainer for Abel Ferreira, who realized his inclination early on. He was an avid collector of info and experience, would write them down on his notepad and his laptop and record them in his brain’s “hard disk”, learning every single detail around and behind training scheduling.
The injury that forced him to retire at the age of 31 turned him into a very young coach. He started from scratch, at the youth ranks of Sporting CP. By 2014 he had already climbed to the B team who were competing in Portugal’s second tier. In 2014 he took the reins of SC Braga B, also of Segunda Liga. In 2015, he also served as interim manager of the senior team.
In 2017, he was appointed officially at the helm of SC Braga. In his first season, he led them to a 4th-place finish with 75 points. He landed them at 4th place in his second season of tenure as well, behind SL Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP. In his first season at SC Braga, he also steered them to the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
His clear-as-a-whistle philosophy, fresh ideas and thirst for success have catapulted him to the Top 50 coaches of 2018, according to football magazine FourFourTwo. He is deservedly considered as the next big thing graduating out of the Portuguese school of coaches.
Welcome, Abel Ferreira!