From Ser­bia with love

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

A num­ber of Ser­bian coaches have made a mark in South African foot­ball.

Some ar­rived as un­knowns and left empty-handed, while oth­ers left a last­ing legacy.

Kosta Papić and Vladimir Ver­me­zović share the dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing coached Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates.

Papić was the first to grace our shores – back in 2004 when he joined Or­lando Pi­rates. De­spite not win­ning any­thing, the Buccaneers played an en­ter­tain­ing brand of foot­ball un­der “Bill Clin­ton” – so named for his re­sem­blance to the for­mer US pres­i­dent – and the team was called the Happy Peo­ple.

He came close to win­ning the league ti­tle twice, but fell short in the last hur­dle when the team fin­ished as run­ners-up to Kaizer Chiefs in 2005 and to Mamelodi Sun­downs in 2006.

That was as close as he came to win­ning any­thing. He left af­ter fail­ing to de­liver the league ti­tle he had promised.

It has been a down­ward spi­ral since then for Papić; he has hopped from one club to an­other with­out suc­cess.

He was re­placed at Pi­rates by his com­pa­triot Mi­lutin Sre­do­je­vić in 2006. The Serb, then 36, en­joyed rel­a­tive suc­cess in con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tions af­ter guid­ing Pi­rates to the semi­fi­nals of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League in 2006. But he was fired the next year af­ter a string of poor re­sults.

Ver­me­zović was next to ar­rive in 2009. He en­joyed a suc­cess­ful stint at Chiefs.

Bet­ter known as “VV”, he won two Telkom Knock­out ti­tles, in 2010 and 2011.

He later joined Pi­rates, but un­der­achieved and was sent pack­ing in 2014 af­ter de­liv­er­ing only the Ned­bank Cup.

Zo­ran Filipović coached Golden Ar­rows be­tween 2010 and 2011, but also left af­ter fail­ing to de­liver.

PHOTO: MANUS VAN DYK / GALLO IM­AGES

IN, OUT Mi­lutin Sre­do­je­vić had a poor run with Bucs

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

YES Vladimir Ver­me­zović won twice at Chiefs, once at Bucs

PHOTO: DUIF DU TOIT / GALLO IM­AGES

SHORT STAY Zo­ran Filipović failed to de­liver for Ar­rows

PHOTO: LEFTY SHIVAMBU / GALLO IM­AGES

NO GOOD Bucs coach Kosta Papić failed the test

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