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Heard on the Stands: ISL team faces Thailand threat in the race to sign veteran coach Winfried Schafer

AN INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE FRANCHISE is in the race to sign high profile German gaffer Winfried Schafer, but runs the risk of losing him to another Asian country.

Sources have revealed to TFG that Schafer, a former midfielder who has had more than three decades of experience in coaching, is in talks with a prominent ISL franchise to become their coach for the next season. But they are facing tough competition from none other than the Thailand National Team, which Schafer has managed before.

Schafer's coaching career is riddled with success at the highest level in various countries. Back in 1992-93, he took Karlsrusher SC to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Then in 2002 he led the Cameroon national team to a memorable African Nations Cup triumph. In 2006, Ah-Ahli won the UAE national championship under his management. He also managed the Jamaica national team to relative success, including an appearance in the Gold Cup final after beating United States.

Schafer's spell with the Thailand national team lasted 2 years from 2011 to 2013, and it appears the Football Association of Thailand is once again interested in signing him for a second spell with the War Elephants. 

Given his multi-level experience and a record of delivering success within a short span of time, Schafer sounds like an ideal coach for an ISL franchise as they face the prospect of playing a full-season league for the first time. But given the international competition they are facing, whether or not they will manage to sign him is now in question.

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