Petr Kratky has proved himself to be one of the brightest minds to have led an Indian Super League (ISL) team in its ten seasons. Joining midway through the 2023-24 season to remodel and enhance a Mumbai City FC squad already poised as title contenders, the Czech-Australian guided them to a season of dominance. They concluded the season as League Shield runners-up and went on to defeat Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the final, clinching this season's ISL Cup championship.

Kratky embarked on his professional career as a footballer during the 2001-2002 season at SK Prostějov, a Czech football club based in Prostějov. He went on to play for various clubs across Europe before retiring, having last donned the jersey of FC Slovan Liberec's B-team in 2013.

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Transitioning from his footballing days, Kratky displayed remarkable courage by leaving his Czech Republic home to relocate to Australia. Despite facing challenges, including taking on jobs like washing dishes and bartending to make ends meet, he persevered. Eventually, he secured a coaching position for a local U-6 football team in Melbourne, marking the inception of his managerial journey.

Roughly ten years ago, Kratky made the decision to retire from his football career in the Czech Republic. Despite facing challenges during his transition to post-retirement life, particularly with relocating to Australia, his dedication and resilience prevented him from giving up.

“I washed plates and dishes, then when my English became slightly better, I worked as a waiter and even did bartending shifts,” Kratky explained in his recent interview with the Indian Express. 

Kratky's unwavering commitment and hard work as a development coach for Melbourne City paid off when he was promoted to the position of assistant coach in October 2021, enabling him to play a more significant role in guiding the team to consecutive A-League Men's Premiers titles in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

The 42-year-old said, “When I started working as a coach, I started with the youngest and gradually went to the higher ages. While it’s been a long journey because you have to go through all the age groups, it has taught me how to connect with all kinds of players. When we were coaching 30-45 kids in one session, you had to find a way to send your message across. Kids, youth, and seniors have different mindsets and I’m lucky to have coached all ages which has definitely helped me here in Mumbai because we have players of different age groups and mindsets.”

Kratky previously worked with several managers wherein he developed and implemented effective strategies for the team. His dedication to his job was evident in the long hours he put in every day, working tirelessly to ensure that the team was ready for every game.

His contribution to the team's success cannot be overstated. He was always willing to go above and beyond his duties to help the team, and his attention to detail was unmatched. His presence on the sidelines was a source of inspiration for the players as he motivated them to perform to the best of their abilities. Overall, Kratky's promotion to assistant coach was a well-deserved recognition of his hard work and dedication, and his contribution to Melbourne City's success will be an unforgettable testament to that.

In his second-ever senior-level job, he was given the opportunity to lead Mumbai City FC in the top-tier league in India. On December 9, 2023, Kratky was appointed as the new head coach of the Islanders following Des Buckingham's departure from the club mid-season to join Oxford United in EFL League One.

Kratky's first game in India took place on December 12, 2023, which ended in a 0-0 draw away to FC Goa. Despite this result, he continued to work hard with the team, and on December 20, 2023, he achieved his first win as the head coach of the Mumbai-based team. The match was a fiery encounter against Mohun Bagan SG, resulting in 11 yellow cards and seven red cards. However, Kratky's team proved to be too much for their opponents as they secured a thrilling 2-1 victory. This was a significant achievement for the team, and Kratky's leadership and perseverance played a vital role in their success.

His move to India came as a surprise and relocating to the new country was one of the hardest sacrifices he had to make as he had very little or no time to spend with his family.

“Since getting married over three months ago (in January), I’ve spent only eight days with my wife. It’s not easy for anyone to work abroad and get separated from the family. But again, we are lucky enough to have the technology now these days where we can talk daily. It makes it much easier but not perfect because for me family always comes first,” he stated.