Indian Football: Kerala Blasters appoint Eelco Schattorie as their new manager for the next ISL season
Kerala Blasters have appointed former NorthEast United FC coach Eelco Schattorie as their new manager for the upcoming ISL season. The club announced the same via their official social media accounts.
Much like Kerala Blasters' previous announcement of Sandesh Jhinghan signing an extension, the management took a creative route. Quotes from various people praising the Dutchman were used to tease him before displaying his picture and announcing his name.
Schattorie was delighted to sign with Kerala Blasters. Speaking to the media, the Dutchman said:
"It is an honor to start leading this club back to glory. A club with the biggest fan base in ISL should be entertained with a winning team. That's what we are going to try and accomplish with passion, teamwork and dedication at all levels."
Eelco Schattorie's last assignment with NorthEast United FC was a huge success. Having the lowest budget amongst the ISL teams, the John Abraham-owned side reached the playoffs of the tournament before bowing out to Bengaluru FC.
In the Super Cup, NorthEast United took the lead but finalists Chennaiyin FC made a comeback to oust them in the quarter-finals.
Apart from Jhinghan, local favorite Sahal Abdul Samad has also penned a three-year extension with the club. Kerala Blasters have also signed youngsters Rahul KP, Zayed bin Waleed, and Lovepreet Singh and are rumored to rope in Sergio Cidoncha, Mario Arques, Bilal Khan, and Vishal Kaith.
FIFA U-17 World Cuppers Nongdamba Naorem and Jeakson Singh are also expected to make the jump from the 'B' team. Dheeraj Singh, however, might leave Kerala Blasters and sign for ATK.
Eelco Schattorie's exit means bad news for NorthEast United as the Dutchman was immensely popular with the fans. They even made #RetainEelco trend on Twitter but it looks like the management failed to adhere to their appeals.
But, Kerala Blasters fans have high expectations from Schattorie. It remains to be seen if the Dutchman can lead them to their first ISL trophy.