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Petr Kratky: Mumbai City's new head coach | Profile

Published at :December 13, 2023 at 11:33 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:21 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Atawaris Warsi


Petr Kratky has stepped into the shoes of Des Buckingham and already showed his tactical acumen against FC Goa.

In the wake of Des Buckingham’s departure, the strategic minds at Mumbai City FC undertook a quest to fill his formidable shoes. Their mission: to unearth a coach possessing not only a comparable approach and tactical prowess but also the innate ability to uphold the club’s towering stature in the ISL. 

Enter Petr Kratky, a Czech Republic coach, handpicked to take the reins. Renowned for sharing a philosophy akin to Mumbai City FC’s former mentor, Kratky brings a wealth of experience and a vision aligned with the club’s ambitions. As he assumes the helm, the anticipation is palpable – can this coaching luminary steer the Islanders to new heights, ensuring their legacy as giants in the Indian Super League remains firmly intact? 

Here we look at the profile of Petr Kratky.

Career

Profile: Who is Mumbai City FC’s new head coach Petr Kratky ISL 2023-24
Petr Kratky. (Courtesy: Melbourne City FC)

Petr Kratky, a man of the Czech Republic, boasts a storied football career that spans 15 years, primarily as a right-back. His journey saw him don the jerseys of prominent Czech clubs, including Mlada Boleslav and Slovan Liberec, culminating in a noteworthy stint with Heidelberg United in Australia. Transitioning seamlessly from player to mentor, Kratky took on the role of Academy Coach at A-League outfit Melbourne City, where he initially helmed the Developmental Squad in the NPL2.

Notably, Kratky’s trajectory evolved following Des Buckingham’s move to Mumbai in October 2021, resulting in his elevation to Assistant Coach for the Melbourne City First Team. Serving under the tutelage of Patrick Kisnorbo, Rado Vidosic, and later, Aurelio Vidmar, Kratky played a pivotal role in shaping the team’s success. Over a commendable seven-year tenure, Kratky, as Assistant Coach, played a key role in Melbourne City clinching back-to-back A-League Men’s Premiers titles in the seasons 2021-22 and 2022-23.

His influence extends beyond the pitch, as Kratky dedicatedly coached and nurtured emerging talents from his developmental squad, paving the way for their seamless transition into senior football. As he assumes the reins at Mumbai City FC, the footballing world watches with anticipation, wondering if Kratky’s success trajectory will continue in shaping yet another footballing powerhouse.

Tactics

Profile: Who is Mumbai City FC’s new head coach Petr Kratky ISL 2023-24
Petr Kratky before the FC Goa game. (Courtesy: ISL)

In his debut as Mumbai City FC’s head coach, against FC Goa, Petr Kratky, though lacking prior experience in a head coach role, unveiled a distinct playing style reflective of a 4-3-2-1 formation. Despite this being uncharted territory for Kratky, his strategic acumen shone through, emphasising adaptability and a keen understanding of tactics. 

Opting for a back-four, the key standout was Akash Mishra, the Islanders’ left back, who seamlessly transitioned between defensive and offensive duties. The defensive unit appeared robust with Kratky’s decision to deploy van Nieff as a holding midfielder in the second half, contributing to added depth and stability. 

Kratky’s inaugural performance hinted at a coach who, despite being at the helm for the first time, is poised to bring a fresh and effective approach to Mumbai City FC’s playing style.

Things to watch out for

Profile: Who is Mumbai City FC’s new head coach Petr Kratky ISL 2023-24
Petr Kratky during a training session. (Courtesy: MCFC Media)

As Des Buckingham gracefully passed on the managerial baton to Petr Kratky, keen observers noted a striking resemblance in their playing styles. Kratky’s tactical approach mirrors Buckingham’s emphasis on possession-based football, strategically suffocating the opposition, playing short passes while exploiting flanks and delivering pinpoint crosses. The echoes of Buckingham’s immense success still reverberate through the Mumbai Football Arena, placing considerable expectations on Kratky to fill these significant shoes.

The scrutiny intensified after the Islanders’ campaign in the AFC Champions League, with Mumbai fans yearning for positive results under Kratky’s leadership. While the new head coach inherits a philosophy aligned with Buckingham’s, he faces the challenge of carving out his own legacy. The looming question centres on whether Kratky can uphold the standard of excellence set by his predecessor and lead Mumbai City FC to another triumphant season.

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