ISL: All you need to know about new Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters are all set to announce a new head coach with Ivan Vukomanovic to replace Kibu Vicuna at the helm. Here is all you need to know about the Serbian.
According to various media reports, Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Kerala Blasters FC are all set to announce Ivan Vukomanovic as their new head coach. The Serbian will become the Tuskers' 10th head coach since the inception of the club in 2014. While the 43-year-old has a difficult task in hand when it comes to restoring normalcy at the club after a disastrous campaign, he comes with bags of European experience which should help him in that path.
Here is all you need to know about him:
A former defender who could also play in defensive midfield, Vukomanovic had playing 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.
He retired as a player in 2011, with his last assignment being with Belgian side Zandvliet Sport. Vukomanovic also represented his native Yugoslavia's U21 side, which today is recognized as the predecessor of the current Serbian U21 team.
Previous clubs managed
His coaching career started with Belgian Pro League side Standard Liege in 2013-14, where he worked as an assistant manager. He was then promoted as the head coach and oversaw a historic Europa League group stage match against Spanish giants Sevilla FC which ended in a goalless draw.
In 2016, he joined Slovak side Slovan Bratislava and led them to a second-place finish in the league. He had a decent second season as well, finishing with just five defeats in 22 games.
His next assignment was with the Cypriot top division outfit, Apollon Limassol, whom he joined in 2019 as an interim head coach. However, that spell lasted just four games, and since then, he hasn't been with any club.
Vukomanovic won his first and only trophy as a coach during his tenure with Slovan Bratislava. In the 2017-18 season, he won the Slovak Cup to draw the curtains on a season where they had also finished second in the league.
The Serbian prefers a flat 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 with a midfield pivot of a central midfielder and a box-to-box player. He has managed 79 matches till date, having won 45, drawn 12 and lost 22 of them. However, this is going to be his first stint in Asia, and how quickly he can adjust to the surroundings is going to dictate how well he does in the ISL.
(stats obtained from Twitter/ISL Update Zone)