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Kibu Vicuna: “Getting into semi-finals would be exciting”

2020 11 11 09.19.27
Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters FC fans are prepared to start a new era as they big goodbye to Sandesh Jhingan during the off-season and welcomed their first-ever sporting director in Karolis Skinkys and yet another new head coach in Kibu Vicuna.

A new manager walking into the Kerala Blasters team is a common sight with the club going through eight different managers in their first six years of ISL experience. But their new manager has an air of fresh breath around him as he is not coming in with the promises of immediate success but is instead focusing on building a team that can compete at this level by playing a good brand of football.

​With top managers like Steve Coppell, Rene Muelensteen, David James, and Eelco Schattorie taking charge of the club and failing to win a trophy in the last six years, it would be interesting to see how Vicuna would go about the job at hand after his I-League success with Mohun Bagan last season.

In an exclusive interview with Mohak Arora of Parimatch News, Kibu Vicuna discussed the club’s rebuild, Blasters’s aims for the upcoming season, and discussed how playing football in empty stadiums without fans could impact the team.

Planning is the key to KBFC success

Talking about the club he has joined, the Spanish manager praised the club’s long-term plans and the squad at his disposal. He said:

“Kerala Blasters is a fantastic club which is well organized and has a great team with a well-defined vision and plan for the club. Although the last two seasons weren’t favourable, we have a good squad this season and they are striving for better this time.”

Indian football is not just a league, it’s the whole universe

The 48-year old manager was at the helm of Mohun Bagan last year and won the 2019-20 I-League trophy for the club with four matches to go. When asked about his experience in Indian football, he said:

“Last season was great not just because we won the League but also because we had an excellent time working in India, especially with the Indian players. And now, we are in a more competitive and different environment with Kerala Blasters. I can confidently say that working in India is a wonderful experience.”

Fans and especially Kerala Blasters fans are an integral part of the team

The 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League will be played behind closed doors and clubs with huge fan followings like Kerala Blasters will be at a disadvantage in the upcoming season. Talking about the same, Vicuna said:

“It definitely gives the team a feeling of being handicapped because our supporters have always been fantastic. This time we will miss them on the stands but all of us can still feel their support. They are always there for our team and make our players want to strive for the best.”

This season will be different

Kerala Blasters have failed to win a single trophy since the inception of the Indian Super League back in 2014 and haven’t even qualified for the semi-final stage of the coveted tournament in the last three seasons. Setting the goals for the club’s upcoming season, the head coach said

“Our main aim is to play well this time. Getting into the semi-finals would be exciting because it is close to getting better results, but it is challenging as well since all teams who are striving for the same. But I ensure that our squad is working hard to compete for top positions.”