ISL 2017: 5 Possible replacements for Rene Meulensteen at Kerala Blasters FC
Kerala Blasters suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of their Southern India rival and ISL newcomers Bengaluru FC. Rene Meulensteen's deputy and former Shillong Lajong FC manager, Kerala Blasters assistant coach Thangboi Singto is now expected to be the interim head coach of the Kochi side.
The Kerala Blasters management will be weighing their options for Rene Meulensteen's successor with eleven rounds of matches to go in the Indian Super League. We take a look at five possible candidates who could be in line to take over the helms at the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side.
Ashley Westwood is a former English football player who had a long 18-year playing career in England after graduating from the Manchester United Academy. Westwood did not make a senior appearance for the Red Devils but played for a number of English clubs in the Premier League and the Championship.
Westwood began his managerial career as a player-caretaking manager at Kettering Town in 2012. He also worked as the first-team coach at Blackpool FC and Blackburn Rovers in the Championship. In July 2013, Westwood was signed on as the first head coach of newly founded team Bengaluru FC in the Hero I-League.
He went on to create history, leading the newcomers Bengaluru FC to the 2013-14 I-League trophy in their debut season, also becoming the youngest coach to win the I-League. Westwood stayed on for two more seasons and won the Federation Cup in 2014-15 and the I-League again in the 2015-16 season. He joined Malaysian Super League side Penang FA afterward but had a short stint and left them after a poor start to the season.
Currently, Westwood has been appointed as the Director of Football at ISL franchise ATK, who are managed by fellow Englishman Teddy Sheringham. Westwood has good experience of managing in Indian football with Bengaluru FC and was consistent with them, winning a trophy every season. He certainly can be considered for the main job at Kerala Blasters as his talent as manager could be of more importance than his role as the director of football.