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05.04.2017, 18:00
Goluža takes over Zagreb before heading to Tatran Prešov
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NEWS REPORT: Tatran-bound Slavko Goluža will coach Zagreb for the remainder of the season, after Silvio Ivandija left the Croatian club by mutual consent on Monday.
 

Goluža takes over Zagreb before heading to Tatran Prešov

Even though he has already signed a new contract to become the coach of Slovakian champions Tatran Prešov from next season, Slavko Goluža will coach Zagreb until the end of this season.

On Monday, Zagred surprisingly announced they had parted ways with coach Silvio Ivandija by mutual consent. After their 29:19 defeat against Veszprém in the second leg of the VELUX EHF Champion's League Last 16, Zagreb’s club management decided that Ivandija is no longer their option to lead the club. Also leaving the club is 1996 gold Olympic gold medallist Vladimir Mana Jelčić, who was Ivandija’s assistant at Zagreb.

Goluža is a former Croatia national team coach, and is one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport.

Goluža will lead the Croatian side at the at the SEHA League Final Four, the play-off of the Croatian championship, and the Final Four of the Croatian cup.

"Zagreb is my club. I got my affirmation and made my name in Zagreb. Zagreb gave me everything and I hope that I gave something to Zagreb in my career. I have a lot of emotion for this club and I jumped in to help," said Slavko Goluža to ehfcl.com.

Zagreb fans will be familiar with Goluža, as he played and coached Zagreb for many years. Goluža will also be familiar with many of Zagreb's current players, having coached them either in Zagreb or for the senior and junior national team.

Now he is tasked with leading the side in three important competitions. "This is a challenge for me. I always liked the kind of challenges life puts in front of me. I’m used to stress and I know how to deal with it."

For Goluža this is a warm up for what will come from July onwards. He has signed a two-year contract with Slovakian champions Tatran Prešov, who finished fourth in Group C of this season's VELUX EHF Champions League. That was due to be his first international club role, and first since he left the bench of the Croatian national team after the 2015 World Championship in Qatar.

"I had some other coaching options from national teams like Algeria, Iran, Tunisia and two Bundesliga clubs, but I felt that I can't make any progress with those teams. I want to make something and be able to say I made this team better.

"After all that, came Tatran. I’ve been following them in the SEHA League for years now. I felt that I can make some progress with them but there are many things we need to work on," said Goluža.

Agreeing a deal with Tatran was fast and easy, but Goluža had one condition that needed to be fulfilled - that was the possibility to be able to coach a national team while being Tatran's coach.

Goluža has said that he will use his first year at Tatran to familiarise himself with the players, and also to allow the players to get to know their new coach. He is already thinking about which new players he needs, and has mentioned that many things need to be changed in Tatran's game.

Tatran's club management have set clear goals for their new coach. Those are to win the Slovakian cup and championship, and also the Czecho-Slovakian Cup. However, Goluža has one extra goal he has set for himself in the second year of the contract.

"I want to try and reach the Champions League Final4. With all due respect to other clubs, that is my goal. If any person or sportsman doesn't set his goals high, he won't succeed. That's what I have envisioned."


TEXT: Jelena Bagaric / ap
 
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