Kerala Blasters announced Mikael Stahre as the club’s new head coach on Thursday. The Swedish manager has been signed on a two-year contract with the Indian Super League club until 2026 and is the first manager from his country to manage an ISL club.

The Kerala club had previously announced the departure of former coach Ivan Vukomanovic after the Blasters lost to Odisha FC in the play-offs last month. Vukomanovic had guided the Blasters to the ISL final in the 2021-22 season where they ended up losing to Hyderabad FC. The club qualified for the play-offs in the next two seasons, but failed to win a title during Vukomanovic’s time.

Stahre’s coaching experience is over two decades and spans multiple leagues and countries. The Swede has managed over 400 matches with teams like AIK (Sweden), Panionios (Greece), IFK Göteborg (Sweden), Dalian Yifang (China), BK Häcken (Sweden), San Jose Earthquakes (USA), Sarpsborg 08 (Norway), and Uthai Thani (Thailand).

The 48-year-old has found title success in his home country including leading AIK to the Swedish Allsvenskan title (league title), Svenska Cupen (cup), and Supercupen (cup), and guiding IFK Göteborg to the Svenska Cupen (cup).

Stahre began his coaching career with Vasby United in Sweden, he took charge at AIK in 2008. After winning both the Swedish League title and Cup in 2009, he joined Greek first-division side Panionos in 2010. He returned to his home country to join IFK Göteborg, eventually guiding them to a Swedish Cup in 2014. Stahre then led the recently-relegated Dalian Yifeng, in China, to a third-place finish inthe Chinese second division, narrowly missing out on a top-flight promotion.

Stahre will join up with the club at the beginning of pre-season ahead of the 2024-25 season.