DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 21 – AFC Leopards head coach Marko Vasiljevic has asked the club’s supporters to continue bearing patience with his side as he looks to imprint his philosophy and style of play, even as he says the team has vastly improved since he took charge mid December.
The Serb took charge of the side having come in as Nikola Kavazovic’s assistant, but once his fellow Serb decided to jump ship and move to South Africa to join Free State Stars, he was handed the role on a permanent basis.
Vasiljevic who will be celebrating his 26th birthday this year will easily rank as AFC’s youngest ever tactician, but he says he is up to the task and AFC supporters should not be worried.
“I am very satisfied with players day by day better we are trying to fix our mistakes and getting better. I believe in my players and in my team and we will play better everyday. Everyone should support us even as we continue to try and play our brand of football,” the Serb told Capital Sports.
Vasiljevic took up coaching at a very young age after picking up a career ending injury and has worked with Kavazovic over the last eight years. Together, they led Botswana’s Township Rollers to their domestic league title and also led them to the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
The 25-year old tactician hopes he can walk in his mentor’s shoes and produce the same level of success with Leopards and lead them back to glory, the club having waited for a league title for the last 20 years.
But in the meantime, Vasiljevic can pick his maiden silverware as AFC head coach when they start their SportPesa Super Cup campaign on Wednesday against Tanzania’s giants Simba SC in what will be a derby of sorts.
“My expectation is that we will give our best in this tournament and this is a very good chance for us because it gives both me and my players an experience to compare our style and model of play with an opponent that plays a very high level of football in the Champions League,” further stated the tactician.
Simba come into the tie with their tails rained down having suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Congolese giants AS Vita in their second group match of the CAF Champions League.
Despite that, Vasiljevic still expects a very tough game from Wekundu wa Msimbazi who are a tough nut to crack especially at the National Stadium in Dar.
“We know it is a tough game because the opponent is playing in a serious level but we have targets as a team and we have to work to achieve them and to strictly play our model of football,” the coach opined.
AFC come into this game having won their last league match against Chemelil Sugar in Kisumu last Thursday, a victory that the Seb believes has fired up his charges for this Wednesday’s tie.
AFC will miss the services of midfielder dynamos Saad Musa and Marvin Nabwire who are both just recovering from injury while Victor Majid did not also travel with the squad to Dar es Salaam as he had just resumed training after a lengthy spell out.