Kochi: Newly appointed manager of Kerala Blasters FC, Eelco Schattorie said it is a great honour to be at a club that breathes football.
Under Schattorie, Northeast United FC reached to the ISL playoffs for the first time in the club’s history during the 2018-19 season.
Soon after taking charge, the Dutchman took to the official twitter page and said, “A club with the biggest fan base in the ISL should be entertained with a winning team. That’s what we are going to try and accomplish with passion, teamwork and dedication at all levels.”
The club also shared video of Schattorie opening up about the new job and challenges that await him.
What can fans expect from Kerala Blasters this season?
We will go for the top position. It’s difficult and all the 10 teams will go for the same. But that’s the goal. I like to play an attacking and progressive brand of football. No sitting back. That’s another goal, to bring more attractive and attacking football.
Any message for the fans?
I am very humbled and happy to be here. It’s a beautiful state. The symbol is an elephant that epitomises strength. I hope that we can transform that ideal to the team so that other teams who come here are scared to play against us. I will show a brand of football that the supporters will enjoy. I am going to do everything to make that happen.
How does it feel to be at Kerala Blasters?
A big honour. I think in India, Kerala Blasters is one of the teams that has a huge fan base that breathes football. It’s an honour to be here for the upcoming ISL season as the coach to try and get cups and reach high heights with Kerala Blasters. Big honour.
What excites you the most about this new chapter?
As a coach, you want to work at a club that breathes football. In India, Kerala is one of the temples where football is loved. You can see the amount of support. We saw that during the youth world cup and that’s something that any coach wants. Football is played for the supporters. Its also one of my goals to bring good football, a team playing attractive football to Kerala.
How excited are you to work with youngsters?
That’s one of the things I believe anywhere I worked. I believe in working with young players. Of course, that means they need to show the quality to be in the first team. But young blood, fresh blood is always important in a team. I don’t look at a players age. If you are good, you are good. If it’s a young player, I prefer that because they bring in some extra spirit to the team. I am looking forward to developing them.
Schattorie also expressed his desire to work with Sahal Abdul Samad, the U23 national team player form Kannur.
“We have one really nice player that I didn’t work with yet, Sahal Abdul Samad. I followed him last year. I think he has good potential and I hope we can find more type of these players in Kerala,” said the coach.
Kerala Blasters had a disappointing season last time finishing sixth and never really challenging for the top four spot during the entire campaign. The supports, popularly known as the manjappada (yellow army) turned against the club. A large section of the fans even boycotted matches demanding better performance and results from the team.