11 DARIJE KALEZIC

WELLING­TON PHOENIX

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It’s part of the ar­rival rou­tine for new coaches to spout the mantra of “play­ing at­trac­tive foot­ball” but Welling­ton’s most significant im­port in the off-sea­son wants Nix fans sali­vat­ing for more ev­ery week. Af­ter over­com­ing a dire in­jury han­gover from last sea­son, Phoenix play­ers are start­ing to shape up and Darije Kalezic likes what he sees. It’s far from new ter­ri­tory for the Bos­nian-Swiss Coach who has taken an ac­tive interest in the league since work­ing with a trio of Aussies in the Ere­di­visie. “For us it is very im­por­tant to play how our fans want to see us play… to count the days when Welling­ton Phoenix are go­ing to play again,” the 47-year-old says. “We want to play not only nice and at­trac­tive foot­ball from solid or­gan­i­sa­tion, but we want to play also what peo­ple like to see with the heart, and with 100% from the first minute to the last minute. “The men­tal­ity of the play­ers is great – it gives me big con­fi­dence they will achieve all the tar­gets that I and (as­sis­tant coach) Rado Vi­dosic will give them.” And with the changes tak­ing place, Kalezic in­sists more play­ers are now will­ing to cross the ditch to join them “be­cause they be­lieve in our process and they be­lieve in our fu­ture”.

LAST THREE CLUBS: Al-Taa­woun (2016), Roda JC (2015-16), Jong PSV (2013-15)

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