Bulgaria have appointed Ivaylo Petev as their new coach, the 39-year-old succeeding Luboslav Penev who left the post last month. Petev will officially take charge on 1 January having signed a three-year deal with the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS).
“I’m proud to have been given the honor of leading the national team and to get the backing of the Executive Committee of the Bulgarian Football Union,” he said. “I’ll give everything to do as well as possible in the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers.”
Petev led PFC Ludogorets Razgrad into the top flight for the first time in 2011 and then guided the club to the league title in both 2012 – when they completed a domestic double – and 2013. He takes over a side who are fourth in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H with four points from four games, the 1:1 home draw with Malta in their most recent fixture prompting Penev’s departure.
“Third place in the group is our target, and the team must fight for it as long as there’s a theoretical chance,” said BFS president Borislav Mihaylov. Petev’s first competitive match will be Italy’s visit to Sofia on 28 March. The new man recently occupied the helm at AEL Limassol FC.