After trying English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish coaches in earlier Indian Super League seasons, Kerala Blasters FC has brought in Serbian flavour this time with the signing of Ivan Vukomanovic as head coach.
The 43-year-old, the Blasters’ 10th coach since the start of the ISL in 2014, has coached top division clubs in Belgium, Slovakia and Cyprus.
He began as assistant coach at Belgium’s Standard Liege in 2013 and later managed SK Slovan Bratislava in the Slovak Super Liga, helping the side win the Slovakia National Cup.
His last assignment was with Apollon Limassol in Cyprus’ First Division.
Prior to taking up coaching, Vukomanovic was a professional footballer for 15 years. A defender, he had stints with French club FC Bordeaux, Germany’s FC Koln, Belgium’s Royal Antwerp, Russia’s Dynamo Moscow and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade.
“From my first contact with the club’s directors, the feeling was positive. After seeing the army of fans and the support KBFC has, I didn’t hesitate a second,” said Vukomanovic.
The right fit
“I think Ivan is the right fit for this big challenge and responsibility, someone who can handle the pressure here,” said Karolis Skinkys, the Blasters’ sporting director.
Vukomanovic’s coaching team will include Belgian assistant coach Patrik van Kets, who comes with 18 years experience as a pro coach.
The Blasters took the 10th spot in the 11-team ISL last season in Goa.
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