ISL: Matej Poplatnik to stay at Kerala Blasters; Abdul Hakku extends

Kerala Blasters have Slovenian striker Matej Poplatnik on their books for another season while Indian defender Abdul Hakku has extended his contract, Goal has learnt. 

The newly-appointed head coach Kibu Vicuna has conducted an online introductory session with the available players in which Poplatnik, along with the entire squad, was a part of.

Poplatnik, who has a year left on his current contract with Blasters, spent the last season on loan at Hungarian club Kaposvari Rakoczi. He managed just one start in a total of six appearances during his loan spell. 

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At Blasters, he partnered up with Slavisa Stojanovic upfront and scored four goals during what was a disappointing 2018-19 season. 

Manjappada Kerala Blasters
Manjappada Kerala Blasters

25-year-old Keralite Hakku has completed two seasons at the Kochi-based club and he is set to play spend more time in a yellow kit. The Malayali defender's career has been affected by injuries and fitness concerns in recent years. The former NorthEast United defender has only played a total of seven matches in the last two seasons and will be hoping to clock more minutes in the upcoming campaign.

The Indian Super League (ISL) club, as reported earlier, are undergoing a structural revamp. With the appointment of sporting director, Lithuanian Karolis Skinkys, there has been an increased focus on signing young talents and retaining existing players based on their financial capability. They recently wrapped up the signing of youngster Givson Singh from Indian Arrows. 

Blasters have failed to get past the league stage in the last three seasons and will be looking to get back on track once the 2020-21 season starts rolling. They finished seventh in the league last season with 19 points from 18 matches. Nishu Kumar, Givson Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Albino Gomes etc are a few of the club's recent signings and the supporters will be expecting the management to further strengthen the squad. 


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