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Top coaches eye Zebras job

Publishing Date : 13 May, 2019

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Former Zebras head Coaches Veselin Jelusic together with Peter Butler are said to be front runners for the Senior National Team coaching job. Behind them is former Freestate Stars gaffer Luc Eymael together with the ex-Township Rollers award winning coach Nikola Kavazovic. 


The top 6 of the favourite coaches to take the Zebras task is completed by Brazilian mentor Leonardo Neiva and former Jwaneng Galaxy man Zlatko Krmpotic. Antonio Flores who once mentored Uganda is not far from the race, WeekendSport has established.
A total of 40 coaches had applied for the post once Major David Bright was shown the door early this year. The BFA says it closed all files in April 30th.


However, adjudicators tasked with recruiting and interviewing the next Zebras head  coach are said to have completed the enlistment drive  and there is a strong likelihood that Kavazovic, who is currently with South Africa’s PSL outfit Free State Stars, will ascend to the top post after beating five other strong candidates on the race.


If this report is anything to go by, it is now a complete turnaround of events on the side of the association who were initially planning to appoint Serbian gaffer Veselin Jelušić. It will seem that the Mac Lean Letshwiti’s BFA is more attracted to a coach who comes from Serbia. Kavazovic is also from the same country.


Kavazovic, whom reports say, has a two year deal with Free State Stars, is seen to be the kind and mould of a coach that the BFA needs, following months of hardship to part ways with Major David Bright, whose contract was to expire this year. A key consideration at the BFA is also a  possible public or media backlash when it approaches the Serbian, particularly that he has a deal with an elsewhere club and that the former coach, Bright, was furious about the manner in which his case was handled. But in whatever way, the local football body is said to be ready and prepared for hostile response from some quarters.


Even if many admired former Bloemfontein Celtic mentor, Veselin Jelušić, the BFA seems unmoved in its determination that the former Rollers double winning coach should succeed Bright.  The football regime is said to be willing to interview and agree possible terms with Kavazovic one last time as soon as possible to start assembling and drilling the uninspiring national squad. However, the Serbian does need little introduction particularly in the local game.  Across, Africa, and in terms of prize affordability, the association feels “he is our man.”


Kavazovic is currently fighting to captain Free State Stars out of relegation in the ABSA premier league. He has never coached an African national team. However, on the 5th June 2014, Kavazović was appointed head coach of the Sri Lankan National Football Team. On his debut, on August 24, 2014, Sri Lanka beat the Seychelles national team in Mahé, by two goals to one. This was the first away victory for Sri Lanka after 15 years.


After the Champions title in Maldives Dhivehi Premier League and securing AFC Cup group stage participation for New Radiant SC, Kavazovic decided not to extend his contract. Attracted by a great new project of Laos football, Kavazovic accepted an offer from Lanexang United F.C. and became their Head coach on January 2nd 2016. After seven straight wins in pre-season, just five days before the start of Lao Premier League 2016, Kavazovic left Lanexang United F.C. owing to family commitments only to resurface at Township Rollers the following year.


Reports say Kavazovic fits the mould of what the BFA would want from the head coach and will easily accept a new significant involvement at Lekidi Football Centre. He is also highly regarded within CAF, although he may not be the kind of high-profile appointment that was expected. BFA at the time of going to press insists that they have never approached anyone for the post as yet. The Zebras is still under the interim control of Mogomotsi Mpote and are away to Seychelles participating on the CHAN preliminary qualifying rounds.

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