Here’s all you need to know about Kerala Blasters FC
When someone talks about the romantic affair between God’s own country and football, FC Kochin brings in a very interesting chapter.
FC Kochin carries a prestigious tag pf being the first professional football club of India. Within the few months of its birth, the club took home India’s oldest football championship, the Durand Cup, by thumping Mohun Bagan with 3-1 goal difference. Mohun Bagan happens to be country’s one of the oldest and most dominant team.
The football fervor in Kerala has always been catapulting. With the birth of Hero Indian Super League, India’s unrivaled football championships, Indian football fans joy knew no bounds.
Since we are into the sixth season of Hero Indian Super League, we are covering the journey of the team from God’s own country, the Kerala Blasters, which has been a part of this tournament since season 1.
The love of football in Kerala is evident from the fact that Kerala Blasters FC has the highest fan base for any ISL team.
Kerala Blasters FC Team 2019
Photo Credits: ISL
The genesis of Kerala Blasters FC
Out of the eight chosen cities for ISL, Prasad V. Potluri (a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and educationist) along with the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar won the Kochi franchise bid. The idea behind the nomenclature of the team as Kerala Blasters FC seems no more alien due to the presence of “Master Blaster” Sachin Tendulkar.
The logo depicts an elephant cradling a football within its trunk.
The elephant, being the state animal of Kerala, is very integral to the culture of the state. The logo symbolizes the rich cultural heritage and importance of elephant in it and also integrates it with the passion for football in the state.
“The logo reflects the cultural and sporting legacy of Kerala symbolized by the elephant. The elephant is a symbol of strength and pride, rooted in its family and community, reflecting the aspiration and spirit of Kerala Blasters,” Prasad Potluri, co-owner of Kerala Blasters FC, at the launch of logo during an event in Crown Plaza Hotel, Kochi
Introducing the latest addition to our squad, Keshu, our official mascot for this season.
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) October 19, 2019
The first drafts: Kerala Blasters FC
Mehtab Hossain was the first player drafted by Kerala Blasters FC at First Domestic draft which featured 84 Indian domestic players.
David James, former England international goalkeeper, was announced as the first head coach of Kerala Blasters FC. He was also the first marquee player in the team history.
Former Newcastle United Player, Rocky Michael Chopra was the first foreign player drafted by the team.
The Journey through the seasons
The first season performance of Kerala blasters fc was a balancing act between good home performances and mediocre away performances. It was until fourth game against Pune City, in which Kerala Blasters broke their winless jinx.
A win over Pune City, the second time these teams met, ensured Kerala Blasters FC of qualification.
Kerala Blasters FC defeated Chennaiyin FC on a 4-3 aggregate in the semi-finals and now faced ATK in the grand finals.
A late goal from Mohammed Rafique (95th minute goal) led ATK to the title of season 1 and Kerala Blasters FC ended the tournament as runners up.
The season proved to be a nightmare for the club as it ended up at the bottom of the points table with only three wins in fourteen games.
With the exit of David James as head coach and marquee players, there was a lot of shuffling. Peter Taylor, former England U-20 coach was raked up as the head coach for the club. Carlos Marchena, former Spanish footballer, was the marquee signing of the season. Dismal performance by the team in after winning their opening two games led to the dismissal of Peter Taylor as head coach. Terry Phelan was named as the head coach for the rest of the season. But things never fell into place for the Blasters and they eventually ended up at the bottom of the points table.
In order to bring back the lost glory, there were many changes in the team structure. Steve Coppell, who had managed teams like Crystal Palace and Manchester City, was signed as the head coach. Aaron Hughes, a Northern Irish professional footballer, was roped in as the marquee player. The team had a horrible beginning, losing consecutively too NorthEast United and ATK.
But Blasters managed to shave off the initial jitters and pulled themselves to the top of the table.
Kerala Blasters FC managed to beat Delhi Dynamos with a 3-0 win in penalties after 2-2 aggregate at the end of both the legs.
Fate was repeated yet again when ATK beat Kerala Blasters FC in the finals. ATK took home the title with a 4-3 win in penalties as the full-time score was 1-1. The Blasters again missed the dream by a whisker.
With a hope to change the fortunes in their favour, Kerala Blasters FC appointed former Manchester United manager Reinhard Meulensteen as thier new manager. A complete revamp of the team was initiated with many foreign players being released and new players signed. The Blasters had to wait until their 5th match against NorthEast United to register their first win. In between that, they were handed a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of FC Goa.
Only one victory in the first 8 games led to the sacking of Meulensteen. David James was once again appointed as the manager but fortune couldn’t change even for James as well. The team managed to win 5 of the next 10 fixtures and ended up at the sixth spot in the points table.
The blasters signed a three-year deal with David James who, they thought, would definitely revive their dreams. What followed was a nightmare. The blasters managed to win only 1 game in the first 12 fixtures along with 6 draws. Again, the manager was sacked midway in the tournament. Nelo Vingada, a Portuguese football manager came on board as the new manager. Blasters could only manage 1 win and 3 draws in their remaining six games. They ended up at the ninth position in the points table, only above Chennaiyin FC.
The Blasters have signed Eelco Schattorie, a Dutchman, the ex-manager of Northeast united in season 5, where the team managed to reach the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons. A lot of transfers and releases of players and signing of a new roster has happened.
Kerala blasters FC will be kicking off their campaign in ISL on 20 October 2019 against ATK.
Sponsors: Kerala Blasters FC
|Jain Tubes||Official Sponsor|
|Muthoot Fincorp||Title Sponsor|
|Jain University||Presenting Sponsor|
|Reyaur Sports||Official Kit Partner|
|Kinder||Official Medical Partner|
|Smartway||Official POLO T-shirt Partner|
|paytm insider||Official Ticketing Partner|
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) October 15, 2019