Ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, we speak to Township Rollers new head coach, Nikola Kavazović about his background and plans for the season…
rollersfc.com: Tell us a bit about yourself. You grew up in a football city, Belgrade (capital of the old Yugoslavia, now Serbia), a city famous for the clubs Red Star and Partizan, and you became a football coach at a young age. Were you always interested in a career in football?
Nikola Kavazovic: In Serbia the ball is the first and main toy. I played football on the street since I was four years old. I was promising player; I played for Yugoslavian national team U16 and U18. When civil war started in my country, I decided to leave and to play in Hungary, and I was just 19 years old. There I suffered hard knee injury and came back to Serbia. After rehabilitation, I was playing one season in second league and understood that I will never reach what I dreamed of. One day, the U14 coach didn’t come to practice and people from club asked me to stay with boys for practice. That one practice decided my future. Since I almost graduated at law university, I didn’t become lawyer like my father, but football coach. Now I deeply regret, hahaha….
rollersfc.com: You have mostly worked at home in Eastern Europe and in Asia. This is your first coaching job on the African continent. What has been your impression of Township Rollers as a football club, and the quality of the players
Nikola Kavazovic: Biggest club in country, same as all my previous clubs. Players are talented and there is huge potential. But, the road from potential and talent to quality is long and difficult. Those players can cross that bridge in few months and to be competitive to play in Eastern Europe.
rollersfc.com: You have had the chance to assess the team over the pre-season training, as well as the friendly matches and match practices. Do you think the team is responding well to your training methods and football philosophy?
Nikola Kavazovic: 100% yes. Some of them slowly, some of them faster, but we found language in common. That is the perfect beginning spot.
rollersfc.com: What style of football do you want Rollers to play under you?
Nikola Kavazovic: We will change during the season, and model, and style, and system. When we need to attack, we will do it with all 11 players. When we have to defend we will do it with all 11. We want to become serious team not just in local, but also in international frameworks, and that demands readiness for changes in current circumstances. I don’t want predictable Rollers. I want Rollers who can suprise, like we suprized Kaizer Chiefs in Francistown.
rollersfc.com: The club hopes to challenge for the league, cup and CAF Champions League group stages. Do you think the playing squad has enough talent and depth to achieve these objectives?
Nikola Kavazovic: The months in front of us will show. In football, only the ignorant are giving promises. I am not the type of man who will speak what people want to hear. On the contrary! All we can do is to continue to work like we do now…. with lot of passion, commitment and patience. Day by day, week by week, game by game.
rollersfc.com: Has the delay of the start of the league affected your
Nikola Kavazovic: I never consider decision of authorities. I respect them. But also, I expect them to respect me. In this case my club. If they organize normal weekly competition, everything will be ok. But if they push us in rhythm Wednesday – Saturday, no one will have benefits. I will never ask for excuses, but solutions how to reach all aims expected by fans and all clubs structures.
Born on July 29, 1975, Nikola Kavazović has worked as a youth coach at BASK Belgrade, and as a senior coach for Zarkovo (2006-8), Borac (2008-10) and Resnik (2010-12). He has also coached Istiqlol FC in Tajikstan, wining the Tajikstan Supercup and AFC Presidents Cup. He then became the Tajikstan head coach, and then the national coach of Sri Lanka. Kavazović then joined New Radiant FC in the Maldives before a short stint with Lenexang FC in Laos, Asia.
Copyright 2017 The Official Township Rollers FC Website. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.rollersfc.com as the source
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