Jose Riga takes the reins at Blackpool with just 16 games’ experience of managing in English football.
His short stint at Charlton Athletic caught the eye of Pool chairman Karl Oyston and fans alike – an impressive record between March and May keeping the Addicks in the Championship.
Seven wins and three draws were enough to to lift the south London club from rock-bottom to 18th – five points above a Blackpool side they beat 3-0 on the final day – before Riga was replaced at The Valley by fellow Belgian Bob Peeters.
At the end of the season, the 56-year-old insisted his Charlton contract had only covered the 2013/14 campaign but quickly expressed an interest to stay in English football, preferably in the Championship.
Although his experience of the English game is brief, Riga has a strong record in his native Belgian league.
Born in Oupeye, north of the Belgium city of Liege, Riga played for Belgian sides RJS Haccourt and RCS Vise before moving into coaching.
His record of getting teams promoted from the lower reaches of Belgian football is strong, having taken Vise up to the second division in two separate spells as well as leading RAEC Mons to the top flight.
Before joining Mons, Riga was on the coaching staff of Standard Liege, serving as assistant manager between 2003 and 2005.
He returned to the Stade Maruice Dufrasne in 2011 as manager, making it to the last eight of the Europa League in his first campaign but missing out in the following season.
Riga quit Liege to join the Aspire Academy in Qatar, later joining up with Real Madrid to help coach the ‘CogiTraining’ technique he developed, based on “speed of vision, speed of decision-making and speed of execution”.
Riga has been a scout for the Belgian national side as well as a TV pundit in his homeland. Riga also has a degree in computer sciences and 20 years’ experience working in IT departments in the insurance trade.