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Kerala Blasters appoint Serbian Ivan Vukomanovic as new head coach

Sports Lounge Staff

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Kerala Blasters-Ivan

Kochi: Kerala Blasters have completed their search for a new head coach as Ivan Vukomanovic became the tenth man to take up the role at the Indian Super League team in just eight seasons and will take charge for the upcoming season. The 43-year-old takes over from Kibu Vicuna who left towards the end of last season after a challenging campaign.

The Serbian comes with an impressive resume with coaching stints in Belgium, Slovakia as well as Cypruss.

“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 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!” Vukomanovic was quoted in a club statement.

The 43-year-old began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Belgian club Standard Liege in the 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 molding Belgian internationals like Mitchy Batshuayi and Laurent Cimon, amongst others.

He then 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 long and illustrious 15 years of career as a professional football player. A former defender who could also play as a defensive midfielder, 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.

Vukomanovic’s coaching team will include Belgian assistant coach Patrik Van Kets who comes with 18 years experience as a pro coach.

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