Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Interview with Dinko Jelicic, the under-19s coach at Dinamo Zagreb

Photo: Dinko Jelicic

Interview with Dinko Jelicic, 36, the coach of the Dinamo Zagreb under-19 team.

Walter Pless: What do you look for in a player?

Dinko Jelicic: I first look at the character of the player. After that, I look at the skills and physical predisposition.

WP: What do you mean by character? Do you mean discipline, willingness to train?

DJ: Yes, of course. Discipline is the first part of character. Team spirit is another part of it. Is the player willing to play for the team or is he just playing for himself?

WP: Do you have many promising under-19 players who are ready for the first team?

DJ: Yes. One of our players will now go to the first team for this coming season, for our professional team. And, we have seven or eight players who will play for the second team, for the second professional team. That is our work. We must develop and produce players for the first team.

WP: Does the club prefer to buy players or develop players themselves? That is often a problem for big clubs.

DJ: Yes. We combine the two. Our young players, for us, are very cheap to develop. But, when we look to buy players from other professional clubs in Europe, they are very expensive. The benefits of producing your own players are great.

WP: Do you sell players?

DJ: Yes, of course. Our players sell well. We have very many nice young players who go to the first team and we must sell others to other clubs.

WP: In the current Dinamo first team, how many are local products and how many were bought from other clubs?

DJ: We have about 70 per cent who are our products and 30 per cent were bought from other clubs.

WP: Were you disappointed that you weren’t able to see a game in Tasmania?

DJ: A little bit. We like watching football every day and we were hoping to see a game in Tasmania. Maybe we’ll come back next year.

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