Dragan Skočić appointed new Croatia U-21 coach
- by croatiaweek
- in Sport
Dragan Skočić has taken over as the head coach of the Croatian U-21 national team, after finalizing details of his collaboration with the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić, and his appointment was confirmed by the Executive Committee of the HNS.
The Croatian U-21 national team secured their third consecutive qualification for the European Championship, and the former coach Igor Bišćan was appointed as the coach of Dinamo Zagreb. The helm of the young team will now be taken over by Dragan Skočić, who signed a contract with the president of the Federation, Marijan Kustić, at the headquarters of the Federation.
Skočić’s last job was leading the Iranian national team, which he successfully took to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, setting a new record for the Iranian team with 25 points in 10 games in the third round of qualifiers. Despite his outstanding results, Skočić did not have the opportunity to lead Iran at the final tournament.
Before leading Iran, Skočić coached Rijeka, Interblock Ljubljana, Al Arabi, Al Nassr, Malavan, Foolad, Rayka Babol, and Sanat Naft. Among his coaching successes were winning the Croatian Cup with Rijeka, the Slovenian Cup and Super Cup with Interblock, reaching the finals of the Crown Prince Cup and the Federation Cup with Al Arabi, and leading Al Nassr and Foolad in the Asian Champions League. Skočić was among the nominated coaches for the 2021 IFFHS World’s Best National Coach award.
“I am taking on this role with a lot of pride, ambition, and optimism, and I thank President Kustić and the Federation leadership for their trust. Igor did a very good job with our young national team, and my wish is to finish the current cycle in the right way, with the best possible performance at the European Championship, and then start building a new generation. We have a lot of talented and quality players, and I look forward to the challenge of helping them achieve their potentials with my knowledge and experience,” said the new U-21 national team coach, Dragan Skočić.
“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with such a renowned, successful, and proven expert, which confirms how much importance we attach to the development of our young footballers. I thank Dragan for accepting our proposal and deciding to take on this challenge, although he is highly sought after by numerous clubs and federations after his excellent work with the Iranian national team. I wish Dragan good luck and success, and the Federation will provide him with maximum support to achieve the results and development goals we have set together,” emphasized HNS President Marijan Kustić.
Croatia wil take part in the Under-21 Euro 2023 which will be played from 21 June – 8 July in Romania and Georgia.