Lion Metropolis Sailors appoints ex-Purple Star Belgrade and Actual Betis defender Risto Vidakovic as head coach

Singapore Premier League membership Lion Metropolis Sailors have appointed former Purple Star Belgrade and Actual Betis defender Risto Vidakovic as their new head coach for the upcoming 2023 soccer season, changing the function vacated by Luka Lalic, technical director of the membership’s Soccer Academy, who stuffed in halfway by means of the final season on an interim foundation.

53-year-old Vidakovic holds a UEFA pro-coaching license and is a well-known face to Southeast Asia soccer as he has coached within the area with golf equipment in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the place he memorably gained three straight Philippines Soccer League titles between 2017 and 2019 with Ceres-Negros.

Vidakovic led Ceres to the 2017 ASEAN zone champions within the 2017 AFC Cup, profitable 3-2 on combination in opposition to Singapore facet Residence United. They went on to satisfy Tajikistan membership Istikol within the inter-zone semi-finals however couldn’t match the Central Asian facet’s prowess because the Philippines membership misplaced 5-1 on combination.

Ceres took half within the Singapore Cup that very same yr. They had been drawn in opposition to Hougang United within the preliminary spherical, however sadly, they went down 1-0 on the Hougang Stadium.

“Risto is a serial winner within the area, and has confirmed that he can work European knowhow into the soccer tradition in Southeast Asia – and this in various difficult circumstances as effectively. I’m assured he’s the suitable man to take the membership ahead,” stated Sailors’ chairman, Forrest Li, in a media assertion on his membership’s new head coach appointment on Tuesday.

“His philosophy of soccer matches what we envision for ourselves, and maybe extra importantly, he’s a devoted soccer thinker and a father determine to gamers, particularly the younger ones, and I’m excited to have him on the helm of our workforce.” 

Picture: Fb screenshot / maziyasports

Though the previous Yugoslavia worldwide lasted lower than 4 months at Malaysia Tremendous League membership Melaka United, leaving by means of mutual consent in April 2022, he had a extra memorable time in Maldives with Maziya as they ended the 2020-2021 marketing campaign with out a defeat.

“For me, I see this as an enormous and thrilling problem to return in to make one thing particular on the membership,” stated Vidakovic, who will be a part of the 2021 Singapore Premier League winner for his or her pre-season coaching in January.

“I prefer to play offensive soccer and it’s apparent in all of the golf equipment I’ve labored in earlier than that we’ve performed that method. It’s vital that the followers get pleasure from what they’re seeing from the workforce. Whereas I’ve my philosophy, it’s additionally key that my gamers really feel snug and proud of their positions on the pitch and their roles throughout the workforce so I’ve to adapt as effectively,” added Vidakovic who has labored underneath Spanish coach Javier Clemente as assistant coach of the Serbia nationwide workforce the place he helped form gamers the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Nikola Zigic.

Vidakovic believes the Sailors’ roster – which incorporates the likes of former PSV Eindhoven winger Maxime Lestienne, Brazilian playmaker Diego Lopes, and Singapore captain Hariss Harun – presents an thrilling alternative.

“Each membership wants a very good combine between younger and skilled gamers. I’m glad we’ve some high overseas gamers right here who’ve performed in top-level leagues in Europe and they are going to be vital to assist information these younger gamers to succeed in one other stage of their sport,” he stated.

The Sailors ended the latest league marketing campaign within the second spot on 57 factors, two behind champions Albirex Niigata (S). They struggled within the Singapore Cup, held to a 3-3 and 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa and the Younger Lions, respectively, earlier than struggling a 2-1 defeat to Albirex of their last Group A match.


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