The Dutchman was the assistant coach of the Highlanders for a brief spell last season.
Continuing with their recent run of appointments at the managerial level, NorthEast United have announced Dutchman Eelco Schattorie as their new head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season. The move comes just a day after last season’s manager Avram Grant took up the role of an advisor at the club.
The 46-year-old Schattorie is no stranger to the club, having come in at the same time as Grant in the middle of last season, after the sacking of Portuguese Joao de Deus. The Dutchman served as assistant to the much-travelled Grant till the end of the campaign.
Despite being relatively young for a coach, Schattorie has had a career of over 20 years till now in many countries, the bulk of which has been in the Middle East.
He was the youngest ever in his native Holland to obtain the highest tier UEFA Pro license at the age of 28. The tactician also has previous first-team coaching experience in India, having managed Prayag United SC for two seasons from 2012-14, which included the IFA Shield triumph in 2013. He came back for a second stint to India, albeit a short one, with Kolkata giants East Bengal in 2015.
Speaking on his appointment he said, “Firstly I would like to thank the management for giving me the opportunity of becoming the Head Coach of NorthEast United. I am ready to “take the bull by the horns” as I always like to say! I’m not a very diplomatic person, I always like to work hard and make things happen on the field. The only thing that I care about is my players, the club and the supporters.”
Schattorie’s appointment comes at a very critical juncture for the Highlanders who have been the worst performing franchise since the inception of the ISL. Despite enduring a disastrous last season and playing in front of the sorry sight of empty stands, the Dutchman was optimistic about the road ahead. “Hopefully, it’s going to be a beautiful season and I’m looking forward to meeting the fans back in Guwahati and let’s make it a beautiful journey!”