Football News: Kerala Blasters part ways with head coach Eelco Schattorie

Kerala Blasters have parted ways with head coach Eelco Schattorie after one season at the helm of affairs, the Indian Super League side announced on Wednesday.

The Dutchman was in charge of the Kochi-based outfit in the ISL 2019-20 and guided the club to a 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 tweeted.

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-placed finish in the I-League.

After serving as the head coach for Kolkata giants East Bengal for the 2015 season, 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 in the ISL, Schattorie showcased immense tactical guile and took Guwahati-based NorthEast United to the semi-finals for the first time since the club’s inception, before being knocked out by eventual champions Bengaluru FC.

After leading the NorthEast United to their best-ever campaign in the club’s history, 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 which he achieved with NorthEast United, with several factors coming into play.

A host of recurring injuries to key players, including a season-long one to Sandesh Jhingan, severely handicapped Kerala’s campaign as they finished seventh on the table with 19 points from 18 matches.

Despite not making the top four, Schattorie’s Kerala side found a lot of admirers for their free-flowing attacking style of football.