Indian Football: Eelco Schattorie to coach Kerala Blasters next ISL season?
Northeast United FC manager Eelco Schattorie might coach Kerala Blasters in the next ISL season, Sportskeeda has learned. Negotiations between both the parties have begun and the Dutchman should helm Kerala Blasters the next season if they go smoothly.
Kerala Blasters sacked David James midway through the ISL season owing to the club's dismal performance in the first half of the season. Under the tutelage of the former England World Cupper, Blasters went into an eleven-match winless streak with the win over ATK in the curtain-raiser being the only saving grace. Their home fans, the Manjapadda fan club, even boycotted their games as a mark of protest.
In the January transfer window, the management appointed Nelo Vingada as his successor, who had coached the Northeast United franchise in the third season of ISL and Malaysian national team previously.
However, things didn't change drastically under the guidance of the Portuguese. Kerala Blasters extended their winless streak to fourteen matches before picking up a victory over the bottom-placed Chennaiyin FC at home. The club lost to FC Goa 0-3, drew with a 10-man Northeast Untied FC 0-0, and lost to Indian Arrows 0-2 in the Super Cup Qualifiers.
Eelco Schattorie's track record is much impressive than both Vingada and David James. The Dutchman first forayed into the Indian waters in 2012 and took charge of Prayag United after the team played four games. The club finished fourth in the I-League behind winners Churchill Brothers, runners-up Pune FC, and third-placed East Bengal.
Schattorie ended his association with Prayag United midway through the 2013-14 season after the owners found themselves in a financial mess. The club was in the ninth position after having played fifteen matches.
East Bengal sacked Armando Colaco ahead of their AFC Cup campaign began as the Red and Golds managed to win only two of their first five I-League matches in the 2015 season. Schattorie took charge of the team but couldn't steer the club out of the group stages of the continental competition. East Bengal finished fourth in the I-League that season.
After a brief spell in Saudi Arabia, Schattorie returned to India for the 2017-18 season of ISL as an assistant to Avram Grant for the Northeast United franchise. The club finished at the bottom of the table but the management promoted him as the head coach for the next season.
Under Schattorie, Northeast United FC reached the playoff stages for the first time in their history where they bowed out to Bengaluru FC.
Kerala Blasters earlier held talks with Phil Brown as their new head coach but the negotiations broke down, and the Englishman signed an extension to his deal with FC Pune City.