ISL 2018-19: Head Coaches of All 10 ISL teams
The fifth season of the Indian Super League kicks off on 29 September 2018 and, for the second time, there will be 10 teams competing for the trophy. Last season saw new entrants Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC enter the fray that extended the season to a total of 95 matches.
ATK and Chennaiyin are the two most successful clubs in the competition with two league titles each (although Bengaluru FC have won two I-League titles). Chennaiyin are the defending champions after they won their second title last season, beating Bengaluru in the final.
Since the ISL is yet to last more than half a year, most coaches are on short-term contracts. Poor performances are not rewarded with a contract extension while some coaches simply decide to move on to other clubs.
As a result, only three of the ten teams have retained the same coach they had for the 2017/18 season (or finished the season with). Here's a look at all 10 coaches in the ISL 2018/19 season.
#1 ATK (Kolkata): Steve Coppell
Famous teams managed: Crystal Palace and Reading
Two-time champions ATK finished ninth last season without even averaging a point a game (they finished with 16 points in 18 games). It was the lowest finish ever for the Kolkata-based franchise who did not have a clear plan for the last season.
Teddy Sheringham had been appointed manager but sacked midway. Director of football Ashley Westwood (who won three trophies at Bengaluru FC) couldn't revive their campaign either as interim coach and Robbie Keane became player-manager for the final stretch before he too departed.
This season, ATK did not want to bring in a manager who had no knowledge of the league and spoke to one who did. Coppell had taken Kerala Blasters to the final in his first season in India (where they lost in a penalty shootout to ATK) and took a completely new team in Jamshedpur FC to finish a creditable fifth with the second best defence in the league.
Having completed his contractual obligations at Jamshedpur, he thought his time in India had come to an end but that was when ATK approached him and he agreed to take on the job.
A manager who prioritises organisation at the back, his tactics could be a welcome change for a team that conceded 30 goals last season.