Football coach, as Geoffrey Dyson aptly described, not only develops the fullest physical potential in his charges but also those habits and capacities of mind and body that would enrich and ennoble their later years. Clearly, gaffers influence not only the way the team plays in the present but also in the future. Here’s all you need to know about the ISL coaches…
Kerala Blasters FC: Eelco Schattorie
Eelco Schattorie, Dutchman, belongs to the Dutch Football Association. The 47-years-old manager has been entrusted with the responsibility of guiding KBFC to their maiden title. Schattorie first ventured into ISL as the head coach of NorthEast United FC in the 2018-19 season. His brilliant managerial skills helped NorthEast United FC to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in their ISL history.
Eelco 💬 | "I thought we played good during some patches. Because of the international break and the injury to Sandesh, we knew we had to work harder. Winning the game was a huge team effort and we did just that."
— K e r a l a B l a s t e r s F C (@KeralaBlasters) October 21, 2019
ATK: Antonio Lopez Habas
Perhaps one of the most successful ISL coaches, Antonio Habas, as the head coach of ATK, led them to the title in the inaugural season of ISL (2014). The former Spanish footballer has managerial experiences with teams like Bolivia, Granada and Valencia.
Habas was the head coach of ATK in the first two seasons of ISL. While, in the first season, ATK were the champions, the second season was a fair one with ATK ending up as semi-finalists.
ATK have now again reunited with Habas with a dream of lifting the title for the third time.
“We have put in a lot of hard work to build a competitive team. I am very happy to be back and am excited about the new season to start. We want to win every time we take to the field. We will progress from match to match and not think about the title or the championship,”
– Habas in his introductory conference post assuming the role as ATK’s head coach
Antonio Lopez Habas opens up on his bond with Kolkata and @ATKFC ❤
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 18, 2019
Bengaluru FC: Carles Cuadrat
The Spaniard is regarded as one of the most successful coaches in ISL. Cuadrat was also the part of the FC Barcelona squad that won the U-19 Spanish Cup in 1986 and 1987. He also made several appearances from FC Barcelona.
Before joining Bengaluru FC, Cuadrat had the experiences of managing teams of Saudi Arabia (assistant coach) and El Salvador (assistant).
Cuadrat joined Bengaluru FC in 2016 as the assistant coach and continued the role till 2018 where he was promoted to head coach post Albert Roca’s exit as the head coach of Bengaluru FC.
Bengaluru FC won their maiden ISL title in 2018-19 season. Cuadrat was impressively successful as the head coach and the way he guided the team to their maiden ISL title.
Bengaluru FC will aim at defending the title this season while Cuadrat continues to be their coach.
“We achieved success last season and I would like to build on it. Importantly, we will be competing in Asia again and that’s a challenge we are all relishing. All footballing reasons aside, the love and support the fans have shown me definitely had a part to play in my decision of signing on a new deal,”
– Cuadrat to BFC’s official website
Like a child with a new toy ⚽😉…It is fortunate to be able to work on what is your passion!
3rd Stage day at #JSW Bellary and excited about the Facilities, the Club organization, and the work of Players and Staff @bengalurufc #wearebfc #wearetogetherinthis pic.twitter.com/3j1D3ZGbYh
— Carles Cuadrat (@CarlesCuadrat) September 25, 2019
NorthEast United FC: Robert Jarni
Robert Jarni is a former Croatian footballer. The 51-year-old brings in a vast international experience in his maiden stint with NorthEast United FC as the head coach.
Jarni has made 81 international appearances from the Croatian football team and has also made appearances from Real Madrid. Jarni has made three FIFA World Cup Final appearances.
— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) October 15, 2019
Chennaiyin FC: John Gregory
This season is Gregory’s third consecutive at Chennaiyin FC as the head coach. The former Aston Villa manager was roped into Chennaiyin FC as the head coach in 2014 and he immediately made an impact by making Chennaiyins lift the trophy for the second time in ISL 2017-18. Jarni has also made six appearances for England football team.
Describe John Gregory’s first season with us in one word.
— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) May 21, 2018
FC Goa: Sergio Lobera Rodriguez
FC Goa has to be one of the most consistent as well as the unluckiest team in the ISL. In 5 seasons of ISL, FC Goa has been finalists in 2 and semi-finalists in 2 seasons apart from one dismal season.
Sergio Lobera inherited Zico’s legacy of managing FC Goa in 2017-18 season. The Spaniard has managed teams like Barcelona (youth), Barcelona C and also managed FC Barcelona as an assistant coach, although for a short time period.
Lobera is certainly the repository of all FC Goa fans’ dreams of lifting the title after getting setbacks in the initial 5 seasons.
— FC Goa (@FCGoaOfficial) October 27, 2019
Jamshedpur FC: Antonio Iriondo
Iriondo brings in a vast experience of more than 27 years in managing 985 Spanish games. Some of the prominent teams which Iriondo has managed are Rayo Vallecano, CD San Fernando and Rayo Majadahonda in Spain. This is Iriondo’s first venture at the Indian Super League.
“I am thrilled to be joining a club of Jamshedpur FC’s stature. The philosophy, along with the grassroots and youth development structure that the club follows is the right way forward. I’m excited about what we can do together, and I look forward to giving everyone who loves the club some special moments.”
– Antonio on his appointment as head coach of Jamshedpur FC.
— Jamshedpur FC (@JamshedpurFC) October 21, 2019
Hyderabad FC: Phil Brown
The English former footballer is all set to guide the newcomers Hyderabad FC in this season of ISL. As a player, Phil Brown has made over six hundred league appearances in a career of 18 years. His most notable contribution came as the manager of Hull City when he led Hull City to the top league, a thing which Hull City had never achieved in their 104-year old club history.
Phil Brown’s came in ISL as the FC Pune City’ coach in the ISL season 2018-19.
Odisha FC: Josep Gombau
Odisha FC is nothing but Delhi Dynamos FC rebranded. Josep Gombau who was the head coach of the Dynamos last season will now be managing the new entrants of the season Odisha FC.
Gombau has also been the coach of FC Barcelona youth team. With an international experience of managing the Australian national team as an assistant coach, Gombau certainly has many inputs for the Odisha FC players.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 31, 2019
Mumbai City FC: Jorge Costa
The former Portuguese footballer, Jorge Costa, joined Mumbai City FC as their head coach in ISL 2018-19 season. In his first stint with Mumbai City FC, Costa took them to the semi-finals of the league. Costa is famous for making structural and tactical changes in team formation. The Islanders had a 9-win streak in the previous season which helped them take the third position in the points table and qualify for the semi-finals.
Our first pre-match press conference at home! 🚨
The Boss, Jorge Costa will address the media today with Surchandra Singh at 3:30 PM from the Mumbai Football Arena! 🗣
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) October 30, 2019