FC Pune City head coach Ranko Popovic has stepped down from his position, the club announced on Wednesday. The Serbian manager had joined the team last season and under his reign, Pune qualified for the semi-final of Indian Super League.

According to the club’s release, Popovic, who had earlier coached Spain’s Real Zaragoza and Buriram United FC from Thailand, quit his post seeking fresh challenges.

“FC Pune City was, is and will remain very close to my heart. The players, the support staff, and the management ensured my transition was smooth and every one played their role to perfection for us to have a great season. But the decision to part ways is one of the toughest I have had to make for a while,” Popovic said. He added, “The professionalism of the management and the fans support made my job here a memorable one and I wish the club all the best for the future.”

 “It has been a great season for FC Pune City and thanks to coach Ranko Popovic for making it memorable. His belief in the club’s ethos, especially the youth, was remarkable and it helped us achieve a lot and unearth the hidden talent in our system,” said club’s CEO Gaurav Modwel.

“He deserves a lot of credit for the historic run the club has had in 2017-18 ISL. But like someone has said ‘all good things come to an end’ and so has his journey with us,” he added.

 Popovic’s attacking philosophy worked in the favour of the club as the team scored 31 goals in the season. FC Pune ended up finishing fourth in the league with nine victories from 18 matches, reaching the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time. They couldn’t make it to the final after losing the tie 1-3 on aggregate against Bengaluru FC.