Kerala Blasters announced the appointment of Northeast United gaffer Eelco Schattorie as the Head Coach for the upcoming ISL season. The Dutch tactician guided Northeast United to a fourth place finish in the recently concluded ISL campaign. He replaces Nelo Vingada who was at the helm for a very brief period.
The fourth place finish is the highest Northeast United have managed to achieve since the start of the ISL in 2014. They also qualified for the play-offs for the very first time in their brief history where they lost out to eventual champions Bengaluru FC.
Schattorie has extensive experience managing clubs in the Middle East – he held managerial positions in UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Following his stint in the gulf, he moved to the African continent where he managed Red Bull Ghana (2011-2012) before making his way to Indian shores.
In India, he managed Prayag United (now United Sports Club) between the years 2012-14 followed by East Bengal in 2015. The outspoken and sometimes eccentric coach returned to Al-Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia) for the 2016-17 season before signing for Northeast United last season.
Schattorie is the ninth managerial appointment the Blasters have made over the last five seasons. The managerial merry-go-round at the club saw David James sacked after a disappointing start to last season and his replacement Nelo Vingada was sacked for a disappointing end to the season.
The Blasters finished ninth in the 2018-19 season and won only two games during the league campaign. Boasting a huge fan base and wealth of footballing talent in the region, the Blasters may have finally hit upon the right combination – especially with Eelco’s track record of youth development.
It is an honour to start leading this club back to glory. A club with the biggest fan base in the ISL should be entertained with a winning team.
That is what we are going to try and accomplish with passion, teamwork and dedication at all levels. Let the journey start soon.
Kerala has a pool of young players in their backyard and hopefully we can start building players into the senior team with a Kerala heart.Eelco Schattorie