Kerala Blasters FC

Kerala Blasters
Full name Kerala Blasters Football Club
Nickname(s) Blasters,Yellow army(മഞ്ഞപ്പട)
Founded 27 May 2014 (2014-05-27)[1]

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Kochi, Kerala

Owner Sachin Tendulkar
Akkineni Nagarjuna
Allu Aravind
Nimmagadda Prasad
Head Coach Steve Coppell
League Indian Super League
2015 Regular season: 8th
Finals: DNQ
Website Club home page

Kerala Blasters Football Club is an Indian professional football team based in Kochi, Kerala that competes in the Indian Super League. The team was founded on 27 May 2014 by former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar as one of the initial teams in the Indian Super League, after Tendulkar, along with Prasad V Potluri, won the rights to the Kochi franchise.[1] Prasad V Potluri sold his shares to a consortium including Telugu actors Chiranjeevi and Akkineni Nagarjuna.

The team's home stadium is currently the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.[2]

The Kerala Blasters played their inaugural match on 13 October 2014, losing 0–1 to NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.[4] After the first season of the ISL, the Kerala Blasters led the league in attendance with an average attendance of 47,427.[5] The semi-final match between the Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin managed to draw 61,323 people to the ground, making it the second most attended game of the season, behind the inaugural ISL game between Atlético de Kolkata and Mumbai City.[5]

During their inaugural season, the Kerala Blasters managed to make it all the way to the ISL final where they faced Atlético de Kolkata at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. After ninety minutes of action, it was Atlético de Kolkata who came out as the 1–0 winners after Mohammed Rafique scored the winner in the 95th minute.[6]



In early 2014, it was announced that the All India Football Federation, the national federation for football in India, and IMGReliance would be accepting bids for ownership of eight of the nine selected cities for the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL), a franchise tournament modelled along the lines of the Indian Premier League for cricket.[7] On 13 April 2014 it was announced that the rights to the Kochi franchise were won by former India cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar and serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and educationalist Prasad V Potluri.[8] Then, on 27 May 2014, the team's official name was unveiled as the 'Kerala Blasters FC' which is based on the nickname of co-owner Tendulkar, the "Master Blaster".[1]

Construction of the team for the first season started on 22 July when the Kerala Blasters, along with the other seven franchises, took part in the domestic draft to select the first fourteen Indian players in each team.[9] India international Mehtab Hossain was the first draft pick made by Kerala Blasters and thus the first player in Kerala Blasters history.[10] At the end of the draft, the Blasters were composed of fourteen players, including Hossain: Avinabo Bag, Sandip Nandy, Chinadorai Sabeeth, Luis Barreto, Milagres Gonsalves, Ramandeep Singh, Renedy Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Ishfaq Ahmed, Gurwinder Singh, Nirmal Chettri, Sushanth Mathew, and Godwin Franco.[11]

On 13 August 2014, former England international goalkeeper David James was announced as the first head coach of the Kerala Blasters and the first marquee player in team history, thus coming in as a player-head coach.[12] Then, on 21 August 2014, the team participated in the international draft in which each team selected seven foreign players to join their team.[13] Former Newcastle United forward Michael Chopra was the first foreign player drafted by the Kerala Blasters.[14]

The team also picked up Local Talent Duleep Menon for the inaugural season of ISL.

2014 (Inaugural season)

David James was Kerala's manager and marquee player in their first season. The Kerala Blasters played their first ever match away from home on 13 October 2014 against NorthEast United at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. A Koke goal in the 45th minute saw the Blasters lose their inaugural match 0–1.[4] The team's second match saw the first goal scored in Kerala Blasters history by Canadian international Iain Hume but it could not prevent the team from losing to Chennaiyin 1–2.[15] It took the Kerala Blasters till their fourth game to get their first victory when they took on Pune City. Goals from Chinadorai Sabeeth and Penn Orji led the Blasters to a come from behind 2–1 victory.[16]

After starting the season with a five-game away run, the Kerala Blasters played their first home match on 6 November 2014 against Goa. A Milagres Gonsalves goal led the Blasters to a home-debut 1–0 victory over the Goans in front of 49,517 fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.[17] The Kerala Blasters managed to book their spot into the finals on 9 December 2014. A 1–0 victory of Pune City ensured the Blasters of qualification.[18]

The Kerala Blasters played their first finals match on 13 December 2014 against southern rivals Chennaiyin. Despite not being considered the favourite to win the two-legged tie out of the two, Blasters won the first leg at home in emphatic fashion with a 3–0 score through goals from Ishfaq Ahmed, Iain Hume, and Sushanth Mathew.[19] In the second leg, in Chennai, the Kerala Blasters suffered a massive scare. Despite going into the second leg with the 3–0 advantage, Chennaiyin managed to draw the tie level by winning in regular time 3–0 themselves. However, in extra-time, the Kerala Blasters managed to strike back and score the decisive goal in the 117th minute from Stephen Pearson to win the tie 4–3 and thus enter the final.[20]

In the final, the Kerala Blasters took on Atlético de Kolkata at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Despite holding on for ninety minutes, it was Atlético de Kolkata that came out on top with a Mohammed Rafique goal in the 95th minute earning the Kolkata side the title with a 1–0 victory.[21]


After the 2014 season, it was announced that David James would not be returning the team as head coach and that former England U20 head coach Peter Taylor would take over.[22] With the departure of James, the Blasters also needed to make a new marquee player signing. In August, it was announced that former Spanish international Carlos Marchena would be signed as the new marquee for the club.[23] As well as Marchena, in anticipation for the 2015 season, the Kerala Blasters also managed to sign former Premier League players Peter Ramage, Stephen Bywater, Bruno Perone, and Sanchez Watt while also signing former Benfica player João Coimbra.[24] The only foreign player retained by the team was the fan favourite Pulga (footballer).

Taylor was sacked after Kerala achieved only one win from their opening six games, to be replaced by Irishman Terry Phelan. On 4 November, after playing only once, Marchena left the team due to personal reasons, and the team entered negotiations to recruit Scottish forward James McFadden as a replacement.[25]


After the 2015 season, Steve Coppell was announced as head coach of Kerala Blasters. In order to encourage local talents, former Indian International N P Pradeep was announced as the official Scout.On 28 July, the team brought in Northern Ireland national team international defender Aaron Hughes as their new marquee player.[26]Kerala blasters qualified for semi-final on 4 December 2016, winning against NorthEast United FC and finished second in league table.

Colours and logo

The official logo of the Kerala Blasters was unveiled on 15 September 2014. The logo, designed by Brash Brands, is built along the lines of the culture of Kerala by using the elephant, reflecting the pride of the state.[27] Along with the elephant is a football which is being cradled by the elephant. Describing the logo, co-owner Prasad V Potluri, said "The logo reflects the cultural and sporting legacy of Kerala symbolized by the elephant. The elephant is a symbol of strength and pride, rooted in its family and community, reflecting the aspiration and spirit of Kerala Blasters."[27]


Along with the logo, the official home kit of the Kerala Blasters was also unveiled on 15 September 2014. The kit, designed by German company Puma,[28] features a yellow home jersey with blue shorts.[27] The Muthoot Pappachan Group meanwhile feature on the Kerala Blasters shirt as title sponsor for the team.[29] Mobile wallet service provider Oxygen has partnered with Kerala Blasters Football Club as their official payments solution sponsor. Aster Medcity is the Official "Health and Wellness Partner" of Kerala Blasters FC. Sportico is the official facilites partner.In 2016 season main sponsors were announced as Kalyan Jewellers,Prime Meridian,Quaker,Spartan and Livguard.

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2014–2015 Puma Muthoot


The Nehru Stadium.
The Jawhaharlal Nehru Stadium, home to the Kerala Blasters

The Kerala Blasters currently play their home games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.[2] The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, also known as the Kaloor International Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium, playing host to both football and cricket.[30] Initially, the stadium was going to host the Kerala Blasters' first match on 15 October 2014 but the home opener had to be delayed to the next month, on 6 November 2014, after the stadium owners, the Greater Cochin Development Authority, gave permission to the Kerala Cricket Association to host an ODI cricket match between India and the West Indies.[30] To prepare for the home opener the Blasters, with the help of the Kerala Football Association, replaced the three cricket pitches with fresh-made Bermuda grass being installed in their place.[30]

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium usually holds a capacity ranging from 60,000[31] to 75,000.[32] For Indian Super League matches though the capacity was listed officially as 60,500.[2]

Players and staff

Current squad

As of 8 September 2016.[33]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Republic of Ireland GK Graham Stack
2 India DF Pratik Chowdhary
5 France DF Cédric Hengbart (vice-captain)
6 Northern Ireland DF Aaron Hughes(captain)
7 India MF Mohammed Rafique
8 India MF Vinit Rai
9 Haiti FW Kervens Belfort
10 England FW Antonio German
11 India MF Ishfaq Ahmed
12 India FW Thongkhosiem Haokip
13 India MF C.K.Vineeth
14 India MF Mehtab Hossain
16 India DF Gurwinder Singh
17 India FW Farukh Choudhary
No. Position Player
19 Senegal DF Elhadji Ndoye
20 India FW Mohammed Rafi
21 India DF Sandesh Jhingan
22 India FW Prasanth Karuthadathkuni
23 India GK Kunal Sawant
24 India GK Sandip Nandy
27 England FW Michael Chopra(third-captain)
30 India GK Mohammad Ansari
31 India DF Rino Anto
57 Ivory Coast DF Didier Kadio
78 Haiti FW Duckens Nazon
88 Chad MF Azrack Mahamat
99 Spain MF Josu

Technical staff

As of September 2016[34]
Position Name
Head coach EnglandSteve Coppell
Assistant coach England Wally Downes
Assistant coach India Ishfaq Ahmed
Goalkeeping coach Republic of Ireland Graham Stack

Team records


As of 12 November 2016
Year ISL Regular season Finals Top Scorer(s)
P W D L GF GA Pts Pos. Player(s) Goals
2014 14 5 4 5 9 11 19 4th Runner-up Canada Iain Hume 5
2015 14 3 4 7 22 27 13 8th DNQ England Antonio German
England Chris Dagnall
2016 14 6 4 4 12 14 22 2nd TBD IndiaC.K.Vineeth 5

2016 season is going on.[35]

Head Coach's Record

As of 12 November 2016
David James  England 13 August 2014 20 December 2014 17 6 4 7 13 15 35.29
Peter Taylor  England 9 May 2015 28 October 2015 6 1 1 4 7 9 16.67
Trevor Morgan (caretaker)  England 28 October 2015 1 November 2015 1 0 1 0 1 1 00.00
Terry Phelan  Ireland 1 November 2015 20 December 2015 7 2 2 3 14 17 28.57
Steve Coppell  England 21 June 2016 Present 13 5 4 4 12 15 38.46

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Indian Super League: Sachin Tendulkar names his football team 'Kerala Blasters'". DNA India. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Ticket sales open for Kerala Blasters' inaugural home match in Kochi". Indian Super League. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  3. "PARKS AND OPEN SPACES". GCDA-Greater Cochin Development Authority.
  4. 1 2 "ISL: NorthEast United FC beat Kerala Blasters 1-0". Times of India. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 Tony, Antony (13 December 2015). "12th Man Awes Blasters". New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  6. Iyer, Krishnan (20 December 2015). "ISL 2014 Final: Mohammed Rafi's late header helps Atletico de Kolkata become the first champions". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  7. "Indian Super League sees interest from 30 franchise bidders". Business-Standard. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  8. Basu, Saumyajit (13 April 2014). "Stars embrace soccer through Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  9. Mergulhao, Marcus (19 July 2014). "ISL domestic draft to include 40 national players". Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  10. Thaly, Dattaraj (13 October 2014). "ISL: Mehtab Hossain key to success of Kerala Blasters". Zee News. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  11. "Indian players' draft process ends". The Hindu. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  12. Mergulhao, Marcus (20 August 2014). "David James set to have a blast with Sachin Tendulkar in ISL". Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  13. Mergulhao, Marcus (14 August 2014). "ISL: Draft for overseas players on August 21". Times of India. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  14. "Michael Chopra, Bernard Mendy Star Picks in Indian Super League Draft". NDTV Sports. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  15. "Live Blog: Chennaiyin FC beat Kerala Blasters 2-1". Times of India. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  16. Jitendran, Nikhil (30 October 2014). "FC Pune City 1-2 Kerala Blasters: James' side picks their first win". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  17. "Kerala Blasters 1-0 FC Goa". Indian Super League. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  18. "ISL: Kerala beat Pune 1-0, book semifinal spot". Times of India. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  19. "ISL: Kerala Blasters Beat Chennaiyin FC 3-0". New Indian Express. 14 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  20. "Kerala Blasters FC Beat Chennaiyin FC 4-3 to Advance to ISL Final". New Indian Express. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  21. "ISL: Atletico de Kolkata beat Kerala Blasters 1-0 to win title". Times of India. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  22. "Kerala Blasters appoint Peter Taylor as marquee manager". Times of India. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  23. "Indian Super League: Marchena for Blasters". The Hindu. 1 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  24. Jitendran, Nikhil (17 September 2015). "Tendulkar: 'Kerala Blasters is happy but not satisfied with their performance'". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  25. "Kerala Blasters Marquee Player Carlos Marchena Leaves Club". NDTV Sports. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  27. 1 2 3 "Indian Super League: Sachin Tendulkar's Kerala Blasters Unveil Logo". NDTV Sports. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  28. Antony, Toby (6 November 2014). "Come on Kerala, Let's football!". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  29. Sanandakumar, S (29 September 2014). "Muthoot Pappachan Group bags title sponsorship of Kerala Blasters FC". Economic Times. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  30. 1 2 3 Jitendran, Nikhil (21 August 2014). "KCA - KFA catfight over Nehru Stadium in Kochi". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  31. "Nehru Stadium". ESPN CricInfo. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  32. "Indian Super League Gets Big Boost as Football Fans Return to Stadia". NDTV Sports. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  33. "Players". Indian Super League. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  34. "Kerala Blasters announces final squad for Indian Super League 2016". Indian Super League. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  35. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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