Ten Coaches in Seven Years. It speaks for itself that at KBFC, you either win or you go. The Kerala-based club recently announced Ivan Vukomanovic as their head coach for the upcoming ISL season.
Ivan started his managerial career as the assistant manager at Standard Liege and succeeded head coach Guy Luzon following his exit from the Belgian club. After Belgium, he coached Slovan Bratislava in Slovakia and led the team to the Slovak cup in 2017-18. However, Ivan left Slovan Bratislava in 2017 after a string of poor results and took a two-year hiatus from football. He returned to coaching in September 2019 by signing with Cyprus top division club Apollon Limassol as their interim head coach and managed them for a short spell.
The 44-year-old coach does have a promising CV, has won a trophy in his previous job, and also has the experience of coaching in the UEFA Europa League. The media reports in Europe suggest that he likes playing counter-attacking football, with his teams shifting from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 in formation. It will definitely get the Kerala Blasters fans excited, and they will be hoping that he delivers what Kibu Vicuna could not.
Kibu Vicuna parted ways with the club after he could not lead the team to the playoffs in a disappointing ISL 20-21 season. He was the tenth coach Kerla has had in the last seven years. Therefore, the pressure from the board and expectations from the fans will be very high. The fans will hope that Ivan leads them to a playoff spot, if not their maiden ISL trophy. Kerala Blasters have finished runners-up twice in the ISL, once in 2014 and once in 2016, but have failed to qualify for the playoffs in the last four seasons.
The ISL 2021-22 season is set to begin from the 19th November and most like it will be played under closed doors in Goa again.