So now his career in Europe is over Zelijko Kalac is looking for a job, and he believes he and his mates should walk straight into coaching jobs in Australia on the back of their playing careers in Europe. Time for a reality check Mr. Kalac, a good player does not necessarily a good coach make. Take Messer’s Wenger, Ferguson and Hiddink to name a few who had less than stellar playing careers who are regarded as outstanding coaches. Even the great Bill Shankly only had 5 international caps whereas Sir Matt Busby had just one.
It seems unfair that he has thrown Tony Popovic and Paul Okon into the mix with his comments as both of these players have come back to Australia and not been marquee players demanding ridiculous salaries and have been happy to start off as assistant coaches, gain experience and then step up when the opportunity comes.
Kalac stated “A Lot of the current A league coaches just want to collect their $100,000 a year and stay in work until they get sacked and move onto the next job. It’s just about their own self preservation. They are not good for the game.” So to give players returning from Europe with absolutely no coaching experience a go is going to be good for the game?
Whereas all coaches want to keep in employment, all of them also want to be successful as the more successful they are the more secure their job is. It is in truth amazing that anyone would want to take on the precarious role of a professional coach. You would only ever do it if you loved the game.
Kalac shows how out of touch he is when he says that Sydney won the title with an inexperienced squad. Clint Bolton is one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Simon Colosimo on his day one of the best Australian players to have not made it overseas, Stephan Keller a Swiss International, Karol Kisel a Slovak International, Byung Sung Hwan a Korean international, Steve Corica, John Aloisi, Socceroos with top flight experience, other players who have represented Australia Alex Brosque, Shannon Cole and Mark Bridge, Musialik and Danning have played under 20’s. That does not look that inexperienced a squad to us.
What is amazing is he actually says he knows ‘how bad they are because I watched them train and play and believe me they were bad. The players there are pretty brain-dead…’ They may not be the quality of AC Milan, we all admit that, but this league will be a launching pad for players to go to Europe, just as you used the old NSL Mr Kalac. The FFA expanded the league too early and we accept that as a result there are players who have A league contracts who will never make it to a higher level as a result of that and the salary cap. We also know it is never going to match the English Premier League, but coming back and making comments such as this are not going to endear you to a club looking for a coach, nor the fans.
What is also interesting is the mud he throws at Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell. As Jesse Fink quite rightly says on the World Game website, Mitchell paved the way in Europe for the likes of Kalac, being the first Australian to play in the Scottish Premier League, The Eredivisie, in Holland, the German Premier League, Turkey, and scored the first goal in European competition. Had Mitchell been a failure in these leagues the door would not have remained open for the next generation of Australians.
Kalac was also, if we are correct, assisted in re-starting his European career, after a dreadful failure at Leicester City, by none other than Dave Mitchell. At Leicester the joke was there is a new Australian cat flap called the Kalac, as it flaps on all corners. Mitchell then his coach at Sydney United, we believe helped him get a deal with Roda JC, having been so successful himself at Feyenoord.
With an outburst such as this and the lack of loyalty shown to people who have helped him be where he is today, would anyone honestly be game enough to employ Kalac?
Mr. Kalac show you are serious and start coaching the youth that you imply have been neglected. When you have some results to show for your efforts then dream of an A League position.