Mumbai City FC were in a desperate search to fill the gaping hole left by the departure of their former head coach, Des Buckingham, who has now joined his hometown club, Oxford United, in England’s League One. On Saturday, the Islanders acquired the services of Czech-Australian tactician Petr Kratky as their new head coach.

The Englishman had a fruitful tenure of over two years with the Islanders, leading the club to an unforgettable run on the way to clinching their second ISL League Shield last season. Now, supporters would have high expectations from their new head coach, especially with the bar set by the previous head coach. Kratky will surely have big boots to fill in the hot seat of the Mumbai City FC head coach.

Mumbai City FC is currently unbeaten in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, sitting fourth in the table with four wins and two draws in their opening six matches. However, their journey in the AFC Champions League has come to an end, finishing at the bottom of Group D as they faced defeat in all six matches.

The Islanders will now turn their full attention to the league, and with the Czech taking the helm at Mumbai City FC, he faces a challenging task. Here’s what you all need to know about the new Mumbai City FC head coach.

Playing Career

Kratky had a successful 15-year playing career as a right-back, representing prominent Czech clubs such as Mlada Boleslav and Slovan Liberec. He concluded his career with Heidelberg United in Australia, joining the Aussie club in the 2009-10 season and ultimately retiring in 2015, having spent his entire final chapter with that club.

Coaching History

After hanging up his boots, Kratky joined the City Group initially as a volunteer before taking up a coaching position within the City Academy in 2018. He worked with the Melbourne City development side from 2017, gradually progressing to their senior team before the 2021/22 season as an Assistant Coach, contributing to the back-to-back Premiership-winning sides.

The Czech-Australian assumed the assistant role after Des Buckingham's move to Mumbai City FC from Melbourne City. In this capacity, he served under Patrick Kisnorbo, Rado Vidosic, and most recently, under Aurelio Vidmar.

Kratky has taken charge of the team as an interim head coach on three occasions, maintaining a perfect winning record across all three fixtures.

During his tenure at Melbourne City, he oversaw the development of several current Australian footballers, including Jordan Bos, Connor Metcalfe, Marco Tilio, and Aiden O’Neill.

Youth Development

Throughout his seven-year tenure with Melbourne City, he played a crucial role in nurturing numerous young players from his Developmental Squad, paving the way for their transition into senior football. Much like Buckingham, he expresses a keen interest in working with young Indian players at Mumbai City FC, aiming to foster their growth and development.

Interim head coach Anthony Fernandes was in charge of the main team in the last two matches and the previous game, where they secured an emphatic 4-0 win over Bengaluru FC on Friday. He will now hand over his duties to Kratky, who is set to take charge of the team from their next ISL game against FC Goa.

As Kratky is already part of the City Football Group (CFG), he will have a clear understanding of the club's ambitions and will be keen to lead them in defending the League Shield title in the ongoing season.