New Ballarat Red Devils coach Sinisa Cohadzic knows his task is a tougher one than he originally thought when he took on the job. But he is determined to forge ahead with his vision for the club.
Yesterday he got down to the business of selling that vision when he met most of his players at Trekardo Park.
Missing from the group were some of the Haymes Red Devils’ most promising players who are unlikely to be there in 2013, including Charlie and David King, Daniel Tinker and Michael Trigger, who have followed former Red Devils technical director Paul Smalley to Townsville club Northern Fury.
Cohadzic said his challenge now included finding and developing the next wave talented young players at the Football Federation Victoria state league two club.
“I came here originally because the club had a talented group of young players which I’d seen play as coach of Eastern Zone in the Victorian Champions League development competition,” Cohadzic said.
“We’ve lost four very good players, three in the starting 11, so it is disappointing but there will be new players coming in and old players coming back.
“I spoke to the players for the first time (last night). With my original list I had a vision that the team could do big things and challenge for promotion into state league one. Now it is an unknown for me and everyone else.
“What I can say is I’m about developing young players. As an ex-professional player, I will bring that experience to the club in how we go about things. That is what the meeting was about and I hope the players will spread the word.”
Cohadzic said he had spoken to about half a dozen reserves players already about potential opportunities at senior level, as well as a number of younger players who played in the Ballarat District Soccer Association this year.
He said there would also be at least one player coming from Geelong.
While the former Serbian and Polish division-one player was hesitant to reveal details about the game plan he would bring to Trekardo Park, he denied it would be a defensive one.
“I don’t want to say exactly how we’ll be playing because I don’t want other clubs to read it,” he said.
“I can say it will be a Serbian style. Serbian players love the ball on the ground, so it will be attacking and attractive.
“There will be a lot of man-on-man stuff rather than bombing the ball long. When you’ve got the ball you should hold on to it, not give it to the opposition.”