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ISL: Kerala Blasters appoint Ivan Vukomanovic as new head coach

By Pti
Ivan Vukomanovic appointed as head coach of Kerala Blasters (Image Courtesy: Twitter)

Thiruvananthapuram, June 18: Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC has appointed Serbia's Ivan Vukomanovic as the club's new head coach for the upcoming season.

Vukomanovic will be the first Serbian to manage KBFC and comes with a broad experience of coaching in the top divisions of Belgium, Slovakia, and Cyprus.

The 43-year-old began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Belgian club Standard Liege in 2013-14 season before his promotion in the subsequent term.

Under him, the team secured qualification in the UEFA Europa league group stages for two years consecutively. He has since managed SK Slovan Bratislava in the Slovak Super Liga, with whom he won the Slovakia National Cup, and was last in charge of Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot First Division.

Commenting on his appointment, Vukomanovic said: "They have a professional approach about their vision, which gave me a very good feeling. After then seeing the army of fans and support KBFC has, I didn't hesitate a second.

"Immediately I knew that I wanted to become a member of the KBFC family, and I am very glad it happened. I hope we will all work together to make everyone who loves this beautiful club happy and proud. Yennum Yellow!" he added.

Prior to his coaching career, Vukomanovic had a long and illustrious 15 year career as a professional footballer.

A former defender, who could also play in mid-field, Vukomanovic had playing stints with prominent French club FC Bordeaux as well as FC Koln in Germany, Royal Antwerp in Belgium, Dynamo Moscow in Russia and Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.

The Serbian's coaching team will also include Belgian assistant Patrik Van Kets, who comes with 18 years experience as a professional footballing coach.

Having worked as an assistant coach at various clubs in France and Belgium, Van Kets possesses a keen eye and ability to nurture and cultivate young talent.

KBFC Sporting Director Karolis Skinkys, said: "It was a long process to choose the right candidate for the important head coach position. I think Ivan is the right fit for this big challenge and responsibility, someone who can handle the pressure here."

The club conducted an individual training camp after the end of last season to help its players improve their fitness and skills during the off-season.

While preseason planning and preparations are already underway, the training camp is also expected to resume soon with Vukomanovic expected to arrive in India in the coming weeks. The next ISL season is due to start in mid-November this year.

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Story first published: Friday, June 18, 2021, 12:21 [IST]
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