Dynamo assistant coach Saša Filipović told about his functions in Slaviša Jokanović’s staff, how he became a coach at 25, and what could make him the happiest person in the world.
— You were a professional football player. Tell us about your career and what position did you play?
— My position was a defensive midfielder. When it was necessary, I was playing in the defensive line. I was born in Novi Sad, small city in Serbia, where we have a really famous club for us – Vojvodina. I played there from the age of 7 to 18 or 19 – something like that. Then, I went to Switzerland, to Geneva, where there are some clubs. My career ended a little bit earlier than I expected because of my studies at the university. But I'm satisfied – I started working as a coach at the right moment.
— You even got a professor’s degree in sports, right?
— Yes, of course. Besides football, I worked at a school for several years as a professor for physical education.
— Why did you decide to be a coach?
— I have some kind of special relationship with football. I like it so much and I feel very comfortable on the pitch when I am leading my team, my colleagues. In every club, you can learn something new, get nice and close relationships with good people and meet new friends.
— In Serbia, your last club Mladost went from the fourth division to the Serbian Super League in three years. How did you manage it?
— There was a good team of people behind us, who invested a lot in the team, in infrastructure, and so on. Besides that, we also had good players and coaches. Of course, we were probably lucky. These three years were the best time in my career as a coach. Every season we finished in first place, and it was something special.
— So you don't know how to be second?
— Yes, I just said it to my colleagues that in the last three years I didn't know what it means to be second. I will be the happiest person on Earth if this story repeats this season.
— This is your first time when you work with Slaviša.
— Yes, but we know each other for a long time.
— When he offered you to work with him, what was your reaction?
— I was very surprised in a positive way. Of course, I was very happy, because it is such a benefit to work with someone like him that I cannot describe. It happened two weeks before we arrived here, and at first I couldn't even believe it. I didn't have so many days to think about it, and I almost immediately said that if you agree, then I would like to come with you.
— Do you have some special area of responsibility at Dynamo?
— Yes, of course. I'm doing analytical job, watching the games, constructing the training sessions and watching how the players work. In general, I do everything necessary to get a good training session and bring good results during the pre-season and during the season.
— What are your first impressions of your first days in our team?
— I can say that everything here is at the highest level. Everything is organized in a super professional way. We are surrounded by very kind and polite people. I got the feeling that I got into a family. And I'm not surprised, because the mentality of Russians and Serbs is almost the same. I am very comfortable to be here, and I am really happy and glad to work with these people.