New Delhi: Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters have appointed Mohun Bagan’s I-League winning coach Kibu Vicuna as their head coach. The appointment is for one season. The announcement was made Wednesday.
This came hours after the franchise announced that they have parted ways with Eelco Schattorie after one season at the helm of affairs.
“We are happy to announce that Kibu Vicuna will take over as head coach for the upcoming season!” Kerala Blasters said in a tweet.
Kibu Vicuna’s success
Spain’s Vicuna oversaw Mohun Bagan win the title with four rounds to spare. The league was suspended midway due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later called off with Mohun Bagan declared champions.
Mohun Bagan have merged with ATK to enter the ISL from next season. Antonio Lopez Habas, who coached ATK to their record third title, is in charge of the combined outfit.
Elto Schattorie’s duration in India
Dutchman Schattorie was in charge of the Kochi-based outfit in the ISL 2019-20. However, he could only guide the club to a poor seventh-place finish.
“Kerala Blasters FC have parted ways with the head coach, Eelco Schattorie. We’d like to thank Eelco for his efforts and services during his tenure and wish him the best for the future,” Kerala Blasters had tweeted earlier in the day.
The 48-year-old first landed on Indian shores when he took over Kolkata-based Prayag United back in 2012. He went on to win the IFA Shield and guided the team to a fourth-place finish in the I-League.
Tenure in India
Schattorie served as the head coach for Kolkata giants East Bengal in 2015. Then he joined Avram Grant’s NorthEast United setup for parts of the 2016 ISL season, before taking over as head coach for the 2018-19 campaign.
In his very first season as a head coach, Schattorie showcased immense tactical guile. He took Guwahati-based NorthEast United to the semifinals for the first time. NorthEast United however, lost in the semifinals to eventual champions Bengaluru FC.
Schattorie replaced Nelo Vingada as the Kerala Blasters head coach heading into ISL 2019-20. The Dutchman, however, could not replicate the same success in Kerala Blasters.