LFL Twitter Spaces podcast: Ivan Vukomanovic on Kerala Blasters FC’s new signings, fans’ welcome and more

Kerala Blasters FC endured a painful end to what was a memorable Hero Indian Super League (ISL) campaign as they were beaten on penalties in the final by Hyderabad FC.

However, under head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, the Blasters had a successful season after many years of disappointment and also played an attractive brand of football.

The Serbian head coach has become a popular figure among the fans thanks to him masterminding the club’s revival and also for being a warm figure on the touchline.

Ahead of the new season, expectations are higher than ever from Kerala Blasters FC but there is also confidence that the team will further improve under Vukomanovic.

In the latest episode of the Let’s Football Live Twitter Spaces podcast, the 45-year-old head coach caught up with host Suyash Upadhyaya, Hero ISL experts Khuri Irani and Shaiju Damodaran as they discussed all things Kerala Blasters FC.

Listen to the full podcast below:

Here are the experts from the conversation:

On recovering from the disappointment of defeat in the Hero ISL final

Victories and defeats and all the games and all these things are priceless and you have to embrace them and take them as a part of life and a really nice part of life that all of us are lucky to have in the football world. These things happen for a reason. Football can be a really beautiful game but on the other side, it can be cruel and painful.

Our speech after the game was (all about) how we were so proud of all boys. We were so proud of all the people, especially the people, following us and cheering us and giving that energy while we were living and spending our time in the bubble, especially far away from Kochi. And all those things together were priceless and will stay in my life in my heart forever, that's for sure.

On Kerala Blasters FC's new signings

We as an organization, as a football club, always try to stay and try to be realistic in our understanding of how it must function and how we have to deal with certain things. And speaking about changing maybe some details for the upcoming season, we want to explore other things and maybe we wanted to change certain things and try to do something new.

So speaking about the new players, we always want to focus as a club to give chances to promising players, to players who are hungry to succeed, the players who will be proud to wear the jersey and to play with the logo of our club.

Talking about the foreigners, these are the players who will bring us something new, something extra, a new quality, something that we didn't have maybe last year and then we will try to explore how it will feel and how it will reflect.

I just mentioned players who will be brave enough and proud enough to come and play for KBFC because I think that we as a club, want to be known as a club where the young players and promising players will get their chance to become better, become an important part of of the club itself and later on maybe the national team itself. So this is our end goal.

On Kerala Blasters FC fans' welcome

Seeing those people put tears in your eyes because I remember later on that day my mother calling me from far away like crying on the phone saying these kinds of things are very important in your life. These moments are priceless. These moments are the moments that stay in your heart for life and these are the moments that you will cheer up with a smile forever.

So, whenever I go somewhere around Kochi I will always hug those people, stay with them seeing whatever because you know I want to be part of that, I want to feel that energy, I want to be part of that so whatever anyone else thinks, I don't care because it gives me goosebumps it gives me a good feeling.

On Kerala Blasters FC’s reserve team’s participation in the Next Gen Cup

The best thing in that situation is that they felt and they saw what it means to play against the teams who are faster in the decision-making, quicker in transitions and all those details that these guys show on the pitch.

And then when you experience all those things and you come back and then in training sessions and in the training process, you push those boys to repeat those things to work on those things because we want to reach that level as well and then as a coaching staff as the players, you push harder, you work harder and this is how you improve.

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