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ISL: NorthEast United appoint Robert Jarni as head coach

15:33 BST 05/08/2019
Robert Jarni
A compatriot of Indian national team coach Igor Stimac, the former Real Madrid man is set to take charge of the Guwahati-based outfit...

Indian Super League (ISL) side NorthEast United have appointed Robert Jarni as head coach for the 2019-20 season.

The 50-year-old, alongside current Indian national team head coach Igor Stimac, was part of Croatia's 1998 FIFA World Cup team that finished third. In his playing days, the winger turned out for clubs including Real Madrid and Juventus.

Jarni took to coaching in 2007 after retiring from the game. He landed a job at Croatian first division side Hajduk Split for a short while before returning to become the club's U19 coach.

The former Scudetto winner also had managerial stints at Bosnia and Herzegovina club FK Sarajevo and Hungarian clubs Pecsi and Puskas Akademia. He took over the reins of the Croatian U19 national team in 2017 before being elevated to the U20s head coach last year. His term came to an end on May 2019.

NorthEast United have been without a coach ever since Eelco Schattorie and his assistant, Shaun Ontong, both made the move to Kerala Blasters. The Dutchman had led the Highlanders to their best-ever finish in the ISL in the 2018-19 season as the John Abraham-owned club reached the playoffs for the first time ever since the league's inception.

Former I-League winning coach Khalid Jamil has been already installed as the first team assistant manager as well as the head of the academy and youth development. Club record goal-scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche and Indian international Rowllin Borges have left the club.

The Highlanders have just over a month's time to seal off their foreign signings after having brought in defender Wayne Vaz and former Indian Arrows duo Ninthoinganba Meetei and Lalengmawia. Also, Shouvik Ghosh, Pawan Kumar, Provat Lakra, Lalthathanga 'Puitea' Khawlhring, Redeem Tlang, Rupert Nongrum, Nikhil Kadam and Lalrempuia Fanai have extended their stays.