- Cup / Conference
Lech Poznan released an announcement saying that Ivan Djurdjevic will take over the senior team as their new coach after the last game of the 2017/2018 season. Lech’s former player has been prepared for his role since his retirement from professional football in 2013.
The negotiations about Djurdjevic’s hiring have begun very shortly after Nenad Bjelica and his training staff left the club. On Thursday that same week, the club’s management board made the final decision. “We know that he is ready. We wanted someone with a strong character, determination, and strictness. This is what we have been lacking all along,” explained Piotr Rutkowski, Lech’s vice-chairman. “Today we finished discussing the last details of the agreement and the deal has been made.”
The 41-year-old coach from Belgrade signed a 2-year contract with Lech Poznan. The training staff has been named too, and will be announced within a couple of days. “We didn’t want to wait any longer with the announcement because we know how important it was to our fans. There have been a lot of speculations, but we talked to Ivan only. The new coach will be officially presented to the fans during next week’s press conference,” added the vice-chairman.
“A matter of honor. I fought for a noble cause, I lasted until the end, never lost faith. Invincible.” Those words were printed on the Serb’s shirt that he wore during his final match for Lech Poznan. The player emphasized that for him the club is a matter of honor. For the next couple of years, he has been gaining experience whilst coaching the youth and reserves team.
“I expected it to happen in a difficult moment and I made sure I was prepared. It’s not about me knowing the club very well,” explained Djurdjevic. “This is my place. Poznan is my home. This is where my wife is from, where my kids go to school and kindergarten. I cannot imagine a situation where I pack my things after two days and leave. This job is an immense responsibility to me. I have emphasized numerous times how important Lech is to this city and this region and a shirt with the club’s crest doesn’t weight 20 grams, but 20 kilograms. This is a great club and it deserves unconditional commitment which I will offer without hesitation.”
Lech’s new coach has gained crucial experience throughout his career. He played professional football for 17 years, competing on Serbian, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish pitches. He played in 134 games for Lech and scored 6 goals. After his retirement in 2013, Djurdjevic began working for Lech’s academy whilst gaining practical experience in Villareal, Sporting Lisbon, FC Basel, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid.
Djurdjevic is currently in the middle of a coaching course which, after completion, will give him UEFA Pro license. Polish Football Association will make the final decision about his takeover of Lech’s senior team. The official announcement will be made public next week.