We track down the whereabouts of the head coaches from the fifth season of the Indian top flight.

Due to Indian Super League‘s (ISL) clubs’ favouritism of foreign coaches, there was an influx of managers from abroad. Every club scrambled to get their hands on the best options available and some even succeeded in their endeavours.

Indeed, the ISL 2018-19 season of the championship also saw an all-European coaches’ roster. Spain was the dominant force with four coaches, followed by England with three, including former Aston Villa boss Steve Coppell.

Let’s see where the coaches from the 2018-19 ISL season are today:

Carles Cuadrat (Bengaluru FC)

Carles Caudrat guided Bengaluru to lofty heights, including the ISL title in 2018-19. Under him, the Blues also registered their biggest-ever victory (9-1) in an AFC Cup Qualifying game against Paro FC.

However, the Blues finished seventh and failed to qualify for the playoffs. The Spaniard left the club by mutual consent soon after and hasn’t returned to managing yet.

Josep Gombau (Delhi Dynamos)

Delhi Dynamos looked to rebuild from the disappointing campaign under Miguel Angel Portugal by hiring Josep Gombau for the 2018/19 season. Even though the capital side failed to qualify for the playoffs once again, the Spaniard extended his stay by another year as the club rebranded to Odisha FC.

Once again, the Kalinga Warriors failed to qualify for the semi-finals, despite an improved campaign and Gombau parted ways for personal reasons. But, in July last year, the former Barcelona youth coach was announced as the first-ever head coach of David Villa-owned American side Queensboro FC.

Cesar Ferrando (Jamshedpur FC)

Cesar Ferrando replaced Steve Coppell as the head coach of Jamshedpur FC in 2018. Having missed out on the playoffs by a whisker under the English manager, history repeated itself under the Spaniard too, with the Men of Steel once again coming fifth in the league phase.

Yet, the club opted against extending his contract and Ferrando subsequently returned to Spain with third division side La Nucia.

Jorge Costa (Mumbai City)

ISL
Like many coaches before him, Costa also suffered from ‘second-season syndrome’

Jorge Costa became just the second-ever Portuguese coach in the ISL after being appointed by Mumbai City in 2018. He guided them to the semi-finals in the first season, but could only attain a fifth-place finish in the next, prompting him to leave the club.

A few months later, Costa was announced as the new manager of Romanian side CS Gaz Metan Mediaș, but returned to Portugal just seven months later with SC Farense.

Eelco Schattorie (NorthEast United)

Another well-travelled coach, Eelco Schattorie replaced Avram Grant as the new NorthEast United manager in 2018. He successfully re-built the side from the disappointment of finishing last in 2018 by guiding them to their first-ever semi-finals.

He joined Kerala Blasters next season, but couldn’t repeat the trick as the side finished seventh and parted ways with him. Schattorie hasn’t returned to coaching since.

Phil Brown (Pune City)

Brown’s managerial stint in the ISL was forgetful

Phil Brown’s only managerial expedition outside of the UK came with FC Pune City. He was appointed as their manager for the 2018/19 season and despite achieving only a seventh-place finish, stayed on for another year, as the club was rebranded to Hyderabad FC.

However, a run of just one win from 12 games saw the former Hull City manager get the boot in January 2020. He subsequently returned to England and joined Southend United as their manager in April this year.

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