It's official: Kerala Blasters appoint Vukomanovic as head coach

Ivan Vukomanovic
Ivan Vukomanovic becomes the first Serbian to manage Blasters. Photo: By Special Arrangement

Kerala Blasters have appointed Ivan Vukomanovic as the club’s new head coach ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season.

Vukomanovic becomes the first Serbian to manage Blasters and comes with a vast experience of coaching in the top divisions of Belgium, Slovakia, and Cyprus.

The 43-year-old began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Belgian club Standard Liege in 2013-14 season before his promotion in the subsequent term. Under him, the team secured qualification in the UEFA Europa league group stages two years consecutively. During this tenure, he was instrumental in moulding Belgian internationals like Mitchy Batshuayi and Laurent Cimon, among many others.

He has since managed SK Slovan Bratislava in the Slovak Super Liga, with whom he won the Slovakia National Cup, and was last in charge of Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot first division.

Prior to his coaching career, Ivan had a 15-year career as a professional footballer. A former defender who could also play in defensive midfield, Vukomanovic had stints with prominent French club FC Bordeaux as well as FC Koln in Germany, Royal Antwerp in Belgium, Dynamo Moscow in Russia, and Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.

“I would like to congratulate Ivan on joining Kerala Blasters FC. It was a long process to choose the right candidate for the important head coach position. I think Ivan is the right fit for this big challenge and responsibility, someone who can handle the pressure here. I see his passion for the game, deep football knowledge and clear principles about football. I like his way of thinking and I believe that Ivan will be able to implement his football ideas in Kerala Blasters. We are looking forward to working in the same direction to help Kerala Blasters grow,” said Blasters Sporting Director Karolis Skinkys.

Commenting on his appointment, Vukomanovic said: “From my first contact with the club’s directors, the feeling was positive. They have a professional approach about their vision, which gave me a very good feeling. After then seeing the army of fans and support KBFC has, I didn’t hesitate a second. Immediately I knew that I wanted to become a member of the KBFC family, and I am very glad it happened. I hope we will all work together to make everyone who loves this beautiful club happy and proud. Yennum Yellow!”

Vukomanov is expected to arrive in India in the coming weeks.

Vukomanovic's coaching team will also include Belgian assistant coach Patrik Van Kets.

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