YEREVAN — The newly appointed head coach of the Armenian national football team Bernar Challandes believes that the Armenian squad has a great potential and could realize its dream to participate in Euro 2016. Challandes was chosen from among 49 coaches the Armenian Football Federation negotiated with.
“The Armenian squad will not win today but it could win tomorrow. I have studied all the games of the last season. The team has a great potential and could realize its dream”, – said Challandes during an introductory press conference.
The new head coach said he was impressed by Armenia’s performance against Italy in a FIFA World Cup qualification match. “I never thought I would head that team, and when the offer came, I didn’t think long.”
“I’m here to win,” Challandes said. “I’m well aware what I have come here for. If I win, I stay, if I lose, I go. That’s an unwritten rule whether here, in Switzerland or Brazil.”
The 62-year-old has signed a two-year contract to lead the team during UEFA EURO 2016 qualification. Challandes started his coaching career in 1977 and was at the helm of FC Yverdon-Sport, BSC Young Boys and Servette FC among others before being recruited by the Swiss Football Association (SFV-ASF) in 1995. He took charge of the Switzerland Under-21 team in 2001 and led them to the semi-finals of the UEFA European U21 Championship in 2002.
He moved on to FC Zürich in 2007 and was named Switzerland’s coach of the year in 2009 after guiding them to a 12th championship. He followed that by claiming the Swiss Cup with FC Sion in 2011 before working at Neuchâtel Xamax FC and FC Thun.
Armenia were drawn in the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group I alongside Portugal, Denmark, Serbia and Albania. They begin their campaign in Denmark on 7 September with their first home game against Serbia to follow on 11 October.