THE national soccer league completed its complement of 14 coaches for the 1993-94 season when Mirko Bazic arrived from Europe yesterday to take over at Melbourne Croatia. He declared immediately that he aimed to win the championship.
“Melbourne Croatia has been in two grand finals but has not yet won the championship, so that must be my aim,” he said.
“Maybe this time it will happen for them. I will try my best. I will speak again in a week after I see the quality of the players but I am told they are all of a high standard.
While waiting for Bazic to arrive, the club lured midfielder Zoran Trajcevski from Preston Makedonia, midfielder David Cervinski (North Geelong) and sweepers Ante Kovacevic (St Albans) and Ante Juric (Canberra Croatia). It will also be rejoined by midfielder Ivan Duzel, the 1988 Bill Fleming medallist who has played in Germany for the past two seasons.
Bazic, 54, said he would step up the team’s training schedule from three nights to four or five nights a week.
His first match will be a Dockerty Cup semi-final against South Melbourne Hellas at Olympic Park on Thursday night. The league season kicks off on 22 October.
Bazic played as a striker in his native Croatia for Dinamo Zagreb, Kozara and Zagreb. Early in his coaching career, he won three championships with Kozara, and a championship and two cups with the Dinamo Zagreb youth team.
With Bazic as senior coach, Dinamo Zagreb finished fifth in 1975, third in 1976 and second in 1977.
Bazic won the 1986 Canadian national league championship with Windsor Wells. From there, he joined the North York Rockets before returning to Croatia to serve first as Dinamo Zagreb’s director of youth coaching and then as coach of Radnik.
National soccer league coaches for 1993-94: Zoran Matic (Adelaide City), Frank Arok (Marconi), David Ratcliffe (Wollongong), Dragoslav Sekularac (Heidelberg), Raul Blanco (West Adelaide), John Margaritis (Brunswick Juventus), Mirko Bazic (MelbourneCroatia), Rale Rasic (Parramatta Eagles), Bobby McLachlan (Morwell Falcons), Manfred Schaefer (Sydney Croatia), Jim Pyrgolios (South Melbourne Hellas), Bertie Mariani (Sydney Olympic), Bruce Stowell (Brisbane), Jim Foley (Newcastle Breakers).