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The Dutch coach looks back at his tenure with the Kolkata outfit and mentions that motivating the players in tough times wasn’t a challenge…

Eelco Schattorie’s stint at United Sports Club looks to have come to an end as the former Red Bull Salzburg coach has left for Netherlands midway into the season.

After being appointed back in November 2012, he guided the club to win the IFA Shield last year and helped them to a fourth place finish in the I-League.

The club’s main sponsor pulled away after the chit-fund scam last summer and the Kolkata outfit have struggled financially since then. Though the club officials have tried to rope in a sponsor, not much has come their way and eventually Schattorie has admitted he needs time to ponder on his future.

“United Sports Club is a fantastic family club. Its chemistry comes from a management that cares about its players and don’t play games with them. Full credit to all officials. especially Nabab (Bhattacharya), Alokesh Kundu, Ashok and Chandan. The club came into a candy store last year and having a big bag of money and went to having nothing this year. What we build last year I wanted to continue and go for championship.

“The biggest problem this season is that there was no security or opportunity of creating stability to have any chance of competing for the title. With pain in my heart and frustration I see that our team played a decent game but was not able to make a real fist. Bit by bit the team broke down in motivation and went down in the league table. I have the deepest respect for my players on how they till today keep continuing and fight for their club. As for myself, I need to discuss with my family if I can continue with this club or call it a day and move on. The chance is small as nothing changed in the last few weeks after my last evaluation in December,” Schattorie told Goal.

On being asked as to how difficult a task was it for him to keep the squad motivated despite them not getting their wages, Schattorie mentioned that though the players looked enthusiastic, there was always something lacking.

“To motivate the players was not so difficult, but to create stability it was difficult and almost impossible. The players are and stayed motivated because they wanted to learn and become better football players. I got many positive feedbacks from players that they learned something from me and that in its self have more value than money to me.

“Getting recognition is always a good feeling for a coach. I never felt the motivation before the game was not there but you could see during the game the full power was lacking and that's a normal human process if you don't know what your future will be. This can hold on for a while but not for ever.”

Many of their players are linked with moves elsewhere with CK Vineeth being the latest to join Bengaluru FC. Schattorie hopes that the club can survive the test of time.

“The future of United SC is uncertain but on the other hand they have stood in storms and always came out positive in the end. For them to grow they need to create a better infrastructure and of course get a stable sponsor for a few years to come so they can build for the future. My heart and love goes out to all of them and for now I hope they do well in IFA Shield and get a boost. 

“I’m going for holiday and will stay in touch with Nabab and hope they can get back on track and survive.”

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