Kerala Blasters part ways with head coach Eelco Schattorie

Kerala Blasters FC, on Wednesday, announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Eelco Schattorie. The Dutchman was in charge of the Kochi-based outfit for Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 and led the club to a seventh-place finish on the table.

Kerala took to social media to announce the news. “We'd like to thank Eelco for his efforts and services during his tenure and wish him the best for the future,” read the statement.

The 48-year-old first landed on Indian shores when he took over Prayag United back in 2012. He went on to win the IFA Shield, guiding the team to a fourth-placed finish in the Hero I-League. After serving as the head coach for Kolkata giants East Bengal for the 2015 season, he joined Avram Grant’s NorthEast setup for parts of the 2016 Hero ISL season, before taking over as head coach for the Hero ISL 2018-19 campaign.

In his very first season as a head coach in the Hero ISL, Schattorie showcased immense tactical guile and guided the Highlanders to the semi-finals for the first time since the club's inception, before being knocked out by eventual champions Bengaluru FC.

After leading the Highlanders' to their best-ever campaign in the club's history, Schattorie replaced Nelo Vingada as the Kerala Blasters head coach heading into Hero ISL 2019-20.

The Dutchman, however, could not replicate the same success which he achieved with NorthEast at Kerala, with several factors coming into play. A host of recurring injuries to key players, including a season-long one to Sandesh Jhingan, severely handicapped Kerala’s campaign as they finished seventh on the table with 19 points from 18 matches. Despite not making the top four, however, Schattorie’s Kerala side found a lot of admirers for their free-flowing attacking style of football.

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