Kochi, March 4 : Even as star striker Dimitar Berbatov expressed his displeasure, the management of Kerala Blasters on Sunday announced that coach David James has committed his future to the Indian Super League (ISL) club till 2021.
The 47-yead-old James had served the Kochi outfit as player-manager in the inaugural season of the ISL and helped them reach the finals.
After a slow start to the current season, James took charge of the team in January. Since then, the club has put together some impressive performances.
James said: “I would like to thank Kerala Blasters for the opportunity to be head coach for a second time, it is an honour to be in this position, with the best supported team in India, and to build a squad looking to compete in the AFC.
“The club and I are committed to improvement both on and off the field. Together, with our huge fan base, we want Kerala Blasters to be playing at the highest level. Indian football has come a long way since I first experienced it in 2014,” the Englishman added.
“I am excited at what the future may hold and what role the Kerala Blasters team will play in that.”
Along with James, assistant coach Herman Hreidarsson has also signed a contract extension.
Varun Tripuraneni, CEO of Kerala Blasters said: “everyone at the club is delighted he has agreed to extend his contract. Kerala Blasters is extremely special to him and he brings a tremendous spirit to the club.”
Incidentally this statement from Blasters came after an Instagram post of Berbatov, who without naming anyone wrote “worst ‘wannabe coach ever and worst tactical advice, season finished, time to go home’.
Berbatov posted it while he was returning home after playing nine of the 18 fixtures in the ISL and scoring one goal.
The Bulgarian star was signed by former coach Rene Meulensteen, who left the Kerala side midway and it was after that that James was roped in and he took the side to the sixth place.