Thursday, 2 December 2021

2022 Croatian Cup Final to be Played at Poljud Stadium in Split

December 2, 2021 - After the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup quarterfinal matches came to a close on Wednesday, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation decided that the Croatian Cup final match would be played in Split, namely at Poljud Stadium.

This season, the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final will be played at Poljud Stadium, which is comforting news for Hajduk fans after the Split club advanced to the semifinals with a victory against Lokomotiva Tuesday. The Croatian Football Federation decided on Poljud after choosing between Karlovac, Koprivnica, and Split, reports HNS.

At the suggestion of the HNS Competition Commission, the Executive Board of the Federation decided that the final of the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup will be played at the Poljud Stadium in Split and that the final match will be played on May 26, 2022. It will be the first Croatian Cup final at Poljud played in a single game.

On Monday at 11 am, the draw will decide which pairs are in the semifinals. Gorica, Hajduk, Osijek, and Rijeka remain in the competition, and the matches are scheduled for March 2022. 

After the draw at noon, Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić will meet with HNS president Marijan Kustić at the federation's headquarters on Vukovarska, a year after meeting with his predecessor Davor Šuker, when he said he would "leave the federation alone," reports 24 Sata

Since 2016, when the Croatian Cup changed the format and one final match was introduced, the Cup final has been hosted by Osijek, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Pula, Šibenik, and Velika Gorica.

Recall, in the quarterfinal matches which were played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Gorica topped Istra on penalties, Hajduk beat Lokomotiva 6:3, and Osijek beat Belupo on penalties. In the last quarterfinal, Rijeka knocked out Dinamo 3:1, which forced the resignation of Dinamo coach Damir Krznar. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinals: Gorica Wins on Penalties, Hajduk Tops Lokomotiva 6:3 for Semis!

November 30, 2021 - The first day of the Croatian Cup quarterfinals came to a close, with Gorica and Hajduk securing their spot in the semifinals!

Gorica was the first to qualify for the Croatian Cup semifinals, defeating Istria 1961 at home on penalties, 6-4 (2-2, 2-2). 

By the 96th minute, Istra had the semifinal match in their hands. With two goals, Beljo had Istra up 2-1, but in the last seconds, Kristijan Lovrić scored, and in the penalty shootout, the hero was Gorica goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski, who stopped two shots.

Assisted by Serderov, Beljo put Istra in the lead in the 10th minute. Dieye equalized in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

Dieye tried increased Gorica's lead in the 68th minute though his goal was called offside thanks to VAR. Beljo put Istra back in the lead for 1-2 in the 83rd minute. 

A last-minute equalizer came for Gorica when hero Lovrić scored in the 6th minute of stoppage time to send the match to extra time. 

VAR canceled another Gorica goal in the 98th minute, and the match ultimately finished on penalties. Iličić and Silva were stopped by the Gorica keeper, giving Gorica the penalty shootout victory and semifinal spot. 

In the wild second quarterfinal match, Hajduk topped Lokomotiva 6-3 in Zagreb. 

Krovinović gave Hajduk the early lead with a goal in the 7th minute for 0-1. A penalty was awarded to Lokomotiva which Pivarić nailed in the 3rd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

The second half was one to remember. Atanasov nailed the far post from the goal line in the 51st minute for 1-2, which Ljubičić increased to 1-3 two minutes later. Livaja made it 1-4 for Hajduk in the 57th!

Dabro gave Lokomotiva some hope in the 59th minute with a goal for 2-4, but Atanasov increased Hajduk's lead to 2-5 with a rocket from 30 meters out for 2-5. Hajduk's goal in the 71st minute was called offside by VAR, but Sahiti's goal in the 90th minute made it 6-2 for the Split club. 

An own goal by Elez gave Lokomotiva their third goal of the match in the 4th minute of stoppage time for the final 3-6, and Hajduk has comfortably booked their spot in the semifinal. 

Osijek and Slaven Belupo will meet Wednesday at 4 pm, and Dinamo and Rijeka at 6:30 pm.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 29 November 2021

HNL Round 17 Recap: Hajduk Tops Istra 4:0, Wins for Osijek, Rijeka, Dinamo

November 29, 2021 - The 17th round of the Croatian First League was held from November 26 to 28, 2021. This round saw Osijek, Rijeka, Dinamo, and Hajduk record victories, keeping the top of the standings tight. Here's our HNL round 17 recap. 

Osijek v. Lokomotiva (2:1)

Osijek and Lokomotiva opened the 17th round on Friday, November 26, 2021, at City Garden Stadium in front of 1,083 fans. 

Kulenovic put Lokomotiva in the lead with a goal in the 9th minute for 0:1, though Nejasmic equalized for 1:1 in the 40th. Lokomotiva's Ibrahim was booked for his second yellow in the 72nd minute, forcing them to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Daku scored for Osijek to put them in the lead (2:1). Lokomotiva had another player sent off the pitch in the final minutes of stoppage time as Cojak was shown his second yellow. Fiolic scored in the 6th minute of added time for the final 3:1. 

 

Osijek is currently in first place with 34 points (and one game less), while Lokomotiva is in 6th with 22. 

Hajduk v. Istra 1961 (4:0)

Hajduk and Istra played the second Friday match on November 26, 2021, at Poljud in front of 4,560 fans. 

Ljubicic scored Hajduk's first goal for 1:0 in the 11th minute. A Fossati rocket hit with the outside of his boot made it 2:0 in the 27th minute. Krovinovic increased Hajduk's lead to 3:0 in the 70th, and Livaja got his chance to score for the final 4:0 in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 4th place with 30 points (and one game less), while Istra is in 8th with 15 (and one game less).

Hr. Dragovoljac v Gorica (0:1)

Dragovoljac and Gorica met in Zagreb on Saturday, November 27, 2021, in front of 105 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 70th minute when Lovric scored for the Gorica win. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 7 points, while Gorica is in 5th with 25. 

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (1:2)

Slaven Belupo and Rijeka met in Koprivnica on Saturday, November 27, 2021, in front of 387 fans. 

Belupo's Krstanovic scored an own goal for the Rijeka lead in the 51st minute. Drmic increased Rijeka's lead to 0:2 in the 70th. Caimacov gave Belupo some hope with a goal in the 74th minute for 1:2, but Hadzic missed a penalty and their chance to equalize in the 86th. 

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 13 points, while Rijeka is in 2nd with 33 (and one game less). 

Sibenik v. Dinamo (1:2)

Sibenik and Dinamo closed out the 17th round on Sunday, November 28, 2021, in Sibenik in front of 831 fans. 

Ivanusec scored in the 19th minute for 0:1 Dinamo at the half. Jakolis equalized for Sibenik in the 75th minute, but a Peric own goal gave Dinamo the 1:2 win. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 18 points, while Dinamo is in 3rd with 31 (and two games less). 

You can see the HNL standings HERE.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 25 November 2021

New Hajduk Fan Song Features Legendary Mišo Kovać and TBF's Saša Antić

November 25, 2021 - A new Hajduk fan song was released on Thursday - a duet including Croatian music icon Mate Mišo Kovač and Split musician Saša Antić, which many may already recognize. 

In 1975, Hajduk won the championship, and Mate Mišo Kovač won the Split Festival with the song "I can't help but love her." At the time, he could not even imagine that 46 years later, at the invitation of Hajduk, he would have the opportunity to sing a fan version of the song that has been regularly heard in the stands of his favorite club since the mid-1980s, reports the Hajduk href="https://hajduk.hr/php/vijesti_vijest.php?vijest=14346&18s8fnch=neuriyf3bbf4y3vf64" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website.

The verses “In happy days, in rough days, I can do nothing but love them. Because Hajduk is what makes me happy. I can't help but love them," will now be set to music and preserved in a new version co-signed by the famous Split songwriter and musician Saša Antić. More than two months ago, Mišo agreed to cooperate with Hajduk. As the beginning of the campaign, the song was premiered on Radio Dalmatia and immediately provoked emotions and positive reactions from many Hajduk fans.

You can listen to the song HERE

President Lukša Jakobušić emphasized: “If we were guided exclusively by pure logic, starting with ourselves, some things are simply inexplicable. Hajduk is one, and I think the emotion it evokes is very well reflected through Mišo's songs. As the great ambassador of Hajduk for more than half a century, Mišo is the ideal person for this cooperation and deserves the attention that Hajduk and the fans can give him." 

Mate Mišo Kovač, a Dalmatian identity, and big Hajduk fan, stated briefly: “I have been supporting Hajduk for 65 years, and I have been the strongest Hajduk player in all that time while in Zagreb. No one has ever approached me or said a rude word about it because everyone knows that Hajduk and Split live in me honestly and without calculation. That's why at the first invitation from Hajduk to sing the fan chorus of my song, I felt that energy again and immediately said… yes! Because I can't help but love them." 

Board member Marinka Akrap spoke more about the project: "The time we live in is certainly not the best, but the more we have reason to be positive and send some good messages of hope and togetherness. Sport and music create a special emotion, and we wanted the well-known connection between Hajduk and Mišo to be permanently recorded. I am thrilled that the collaboration was accepted by Saša Antić, who gave a new fan expression to Mišo's great hit. We combined both modern and urban with the legendary hit, and most importantly, throughout the song, there is a great deal of emotion. We hope to be able to pass on this feeling of love and connection of generations to all people of goodwill, and for all fans, we have prepared special products with the image of Mišo that will cheer them up during the holidays."

The song was created in the jubilee year of Hajduk's 110th birthday and the 80th birthday of Mišo Kovač. With the artistic spirit of the inspiring Saša Antić, the song gained a new dimension, returning that childhood feeling, first attachment to Hajduk, and the good and the bad.

"To reflect in football jargon, I already played a lot of games, but I still can't see what happened to me. A collaboration with Mišo, to Runjić's music, and in a letter to Hajduk. Simply amazing. I must also mention that the author of the original text is Drago Britvić and composer Stipica Kalođer, and also that the sentence "I can't help but love her" is my mother's favorite, so that is it. As for my text, it is about 15 years old, and in it, I collected memories of my days coaching football, first in Lavčević and then in Hajduk, and turned them into a story from my childhood neighborhood. If we are going to look for a message, it would be that everything, in the end, is just a game and love. But a title would come in handy," said Antić.

The families of the authors of the song's original version - Runjić, Britvić, Kalođera - and the record companies Croatia Records and Suzy selflessly gave the Club the rights to use it, while the Queen media agency is responsible for the audio and video production of the new song.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 22 November 2021

HNL Round 16 Recap: Hajduk Beats Rijeka at Rujevica, Dinamo-Osijek 1:1

November 22, 2021 - The 16th round of the Croatian First League was held from November 19 to 21, 2021. This round saw two of the biggest derbies in Croatian football, as Hajduk topped Rijeka at Rujevica and Dinamo and Osijek drew at Maksimir. Here is our HNL round 16 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Slaven Belupo (1:2)

Dragovoljac and Belupo opened the 16th round on Friday, November 19, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Bosec opened the match for an early Belupo lead at 0:1 in the 3rd minute. Krstanovic increased their lead with a penalty in the 10th minute for 0:2. Majstorovic gave Dragovoljac some hope with a goal in the 73rd minute, but after a Lukic red card in the 87th minute, the match ended 1:2 for Belupo. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 7 points, while Belupo is in 9th with 13. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (1:1)

Dinamo and Osijek met on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium. 

Fiolic put Osijek ahead in the 16th minute for 0:1 at the half. Petkovic equalized in the 80th minute for 1:1, which was the final score. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 3rd place with 28 points (and two games less), while Osijek is in 1st with 31 (and one game less).

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (3:4) 

Istra and Sibenik met in Pula on November 20, 2021. 

Jakolis put Sibenik ahead in the 38th minute for 0:1, before Marin scored the equalizer 6 minutes later for 1:1 at the half. Beljo missed a penalty for Istra in the 59th minute, and Sibenik retook the lead thanks to Delic two minutes later (1:2). Delic scored again in the 72nd minute for 1:3, before Beljo redeemed himself and scored for 2:3 in the 82nd. Miskovic equalized 5 minutes later for 3:3, but it was Jakolis to score the winning goal for Sibenik in the 7th minute of stoppage time for the final 3:4. 

 

Istra is in 8th place with 15 points (and one game less), while Sibenik is in 7th with 18. 

Gorica v. Lokomotiva (2:2)

Gorica and Lokomotiva met in Velika Gorica on Sunday, November 21, 2021. 

Fruk put Gorica ahead in the 2nd minute for 1:0. Prsir increased Gorica's lead to 2:0 in the 24th. Ibrahim gave Lokomotiva hope before halftime, scoring in the 34th minute for 1:2. Pivaric scored the equalizer for Lokomotiva in the 60th minute and the final 2:2. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 22 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 22. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (2:3)

Rijeka and Hajduk closed out the 16th round with the Adriatic Derby at Rujevica on Sunday, November 21, 2021. 

After his first goal was called offside, Livaja scored just before the halftime whistle to put Hajduk ahead 0:1. Drmic equalized in the 53rd minute for 1:1. Rijeka was awarded a penalty in the 79th minute, which Muric scored for 2:1. Hajduk followed suit with a penalty five minutes later. Livaja was solid for 2:2. Hajduk had a corner in the match's final play, which found Mlakar's head for the 2:3 Hajduk win. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 2nd place with 30 points (and one game less), while Hajduk is in 4th with 27 (and one game less). 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 8 November 2021

HNL Round 15 Recap: Lokomotiva Shocks Dinamo, Rijeka Moves to 1st

November 8, 2021 - The 15th round of the Croatian First League was held from November 5 to 7, 2021. This round saw the debut of Hajduk's new coach, while Lokomotiva shocked Dinamo and Rijeka moved into first place. Here is our HNL round 15 recap. 

Slaven Belupo v. Gorica (1:2)

Slaven Belupo and Gorica opened the 15th round on Friday, November 5, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

Lausic put Belupo in the lead in the 43rd minute before Kalik equalized two minutes later for 1:1 at the half. Kalik scored his second goal of the match in the 62nd minute for 1:2, which was the final score. 

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 10 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 21. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (3:0)

Osijek and Istra met at City Garden Stadium on Saturday, November 6, 2021, in front of 1,177 fans. 

Osijek's first goal came from Zaper in the 5th minute. Topcagic made it 2:0 in the 59th before Fiolic scored for 3:0 in the 75th. 

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 30 points (and one game less), while Istra is in 8th with 15 (and one game less). 

Hajduk v. Hr. Dragovoljac (2:0)

Hajduk and Dragovoljac met on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Poljud in front of 3,240 fans. 

Ljubicic scored Hajduk's first goal in the 29th minute for 1:0 at the half. A Vulikic own goal sent in by Hajduk's Sahiti made it 2:0. It was also the debut of new Hajduk coach Valdas Dambrauskas. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 4th place with 24 points (and one game less), while Dragovoljac is in last place with 7. 

Lokomotiva v. Dinamo (1:0)

Lokomotiva and Dinamo met in Zagreb at Kranjčevićeva Street Stadium on Sunday, November 7, 2021. 

The match's only goal came in the 8th minute when Maric scored for the Lokomotiva lead and ultimate win. However, Petkovic missed a penalty for Dinamo in the 38th minute, and VAR called back a Dinamo goal scored by Peric in the 91st. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 5th place with 21 points, while Dinamo is in 3rd with 27 (and two games less). 

Sibenik v. Rijeka (0:1)

Sibenik and Rijeka closed out the 15th round on Sunday, November 7, 2021, in Sibenik. 

After VAR called a goal offside for Rijeka in the 8th minute, Smolcic scored for 0:1 in the 1st minute of stoppage time before the ref called for halftime. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 15 points, while Rijeka is in 1st place with 30 (and one game less). 

You can see the HNL standings HERE.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Valdas Dambrauskas Named New Hajduk Split Coach

November 2, 2021 - Valdas Dambrauskas is the new coach of HNK Hajduk Split.

The club today agreed to work with Dambrauskas, who signed a contract until the summer of 2024.

Coach Dambrauskas was born in Pakruojis, Lithuania, on January 7, 1977. He has 14 years of football experience behind him. He started at the Fulham, Manchester United, and Brentford Football Academies. His first senior coaching engagement was in the Kingsbury London Tigers, which he led from 2007 to 2010.

He then worked for the next two years as the coach of the U-17 and U-19 national teams of Lithuania, and in that period, he was also an assistant coach at Lithuanian club Ekranas. In 2014 he took over the independent management of Ekranas. He soon moved to the head coach of Žalgiris, where he remained until 2017, during which time he won three consecutive titles. Before coming to Gorica, he worked as a coach of the Latvian RFS. He arrived in the HNL in February 2020 and stayed until September 2021, when he transferred to the Bulgarian Ludogorets, his last coaching engagement before coming to Hajduk.

With coach Dambrauskas arrive two assistants, 47-year-old Marius Skinderis and 36-year-old Justinas Gasiunas. Skinderis played as a defender in his senior career and played for numerous clubs from 1993 to 2010. In his coaching career, he worked as an assistant with Ekranas and Panevėžys, then as the first coach with Nevežis, and then as an assistant coach of Dambrauskas in RFS and Ludogorets. Justinas Gasiunas will be the new goalkeeper coach in the first-team staff. In his coaching career so far, among other things, he has many years of experience working at the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and Brentford and in the Lithuanian national team. Mislav Karoglan, Šime Veršić, and Antonio Sebežević remain in the staff of the first team as assistants.

"Valdas Dambrauskas is a coach who led very well organized and successful teams, which he upgraded with his coaching knowledge. I am convinced that he will bring us new energy and that with his knowledge and experience, he will contribute to the improvement of quality in all segments of football. It is the profile of the coach who primarily seeks to establish a positive relationship with the whole team, which we consider a fundamental prerequisite for success. He prefers to work with players of a strong character; he believes that working with such a player profile is essential for success and reaching the highest football level. I believe that in addition to all the above, in a relatively short period he will raise the level of quality of our game, the value of players, and thus give a new dimension to the team needed in the fight for trophies," said sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

HNL Round 14 Recap: Rijeka-Osijek Derby Postponed, Dinamo Moves to 1st

November 2, 2021 - The 14th round of the Croatian First League was played from October 30 to November 1, 2021. Only four matches were played in this round, as the Rijeka-Osijek derby at Rujevica had been postponed due to Covid-19 in the Osijek squad. Here's our HNL round 14 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Šibenik (1:1)

Dragovoljac and Šibenik opened the 14th round at NŠC Stjepan Spajić Stadium on Friday, October 30, 2021, in front of 98 spectators. 

Viduka scored the first goal of the match for Dragovolac in the 23rd minute, followed by a double-yellow for Bagadur 4 minutes later, forcing Dragovoljac to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Jakoliš scored a penalty for Šibenik one minute later for the final 1:1. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 7 points, while Šibenik is in 7th with 15. 

Gorica v. Dinamo (0:2)

Gorica and Dinamo met on Friday, October 30, 2021, in Velika Gorica in front of 1,293 spectators. 

Petković scored a penalty for Dinamo for the 0:1 lead in the 31st minute. Andrić equalized 6 minutes later for 0:2 Dinamo, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 18 points, while Dinamo has moved to first place with 27 points (and two games less).

Slaven Belupo v. Hajduk (3:2)

Slaven Belupo and Hajduk met on Sunday, October 31, 2021, in Koprivnica in front of 1,613 spectators. 

Lausic scored the opening goal of the match in the 2nd minute for 1:0 Belupo. Krstanovic equalized in the 34th for 2:0 at the half. Livaja scored in the 66th to bring Hajduk to 2:1, though Mlinaric made it 3:1 in the 83rd. Biuk gave Hajduk their last hope with a goal in the 86th minute for 3:2, which was the final score. 

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 10 points, while Hajduk is in 4th with 21 (and one game less). Hajduk coach Jens Gustafsson was sacked on Monday. 

Istra 1961 v. Lokomotiva (2:1)

Istra and Lokomotiva closed out the 14th round on Monday, November 1, 2021, in Pula. 

Bande scored the match's opening goal for 1:0 Istra, though Dabro equalized in the 15th for 1:1. Istra was awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute, which Drena Beljo scored for 2:1 and the final score. 

 

Istra is currently in 8th place with 15 points (and one game less), while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 18. 

Rijeka v Osijek (Postponed)

Due to five Covid-19 cases in the Osijek team, the Croatian Football Federation postponed the 14th round match between Rijeka and Osijek and scheduled it instead for December 8 at 5 pm.

Since the virus had also infected several players on Osijek II, they could not play their match against Inter Zaprešić. 

Before the national team break on November 6, Osijek should host Istria in 1961, but even that match is questionable. 

Before the 14th round, Rijeka and Osijek were the two leading teams of the Croatian First League with 27 points from 13 games. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Monday, 1 November 2021

Jens Gustafsson Sacked as Hajduk Coach, New Coach Within Next Week

November 1, 2021 - Swedish strategist Jens Gustafsson has been sacked as the Hajduk coach after losing to Slaven Belupo 3:2 on Sunday in Koprivnica. 

As of today, Jens Gustafsson is no longer the coach of the first team of HNK Hajduk, and together with his assistants Andreas Brännström and Torbjörn Arvidsson, he leaves the Hajduk bench, reported the Split club on their website Monday morning. 

Jens Gustafsson took over the first team on May 28 this year. Under his leadership, Hajduk played a total of 17 games and recorded nine wins, three draws, and five defeats. He led the last match in Koprivnica, where Hajduk was defeated 3:2.

"First of all, I would like to thank the President and the Sports Director for their trust. I am grateful for all the time I spent in Hajduk and for everything I have experienced in the past from people in Split and Dalmatia.

Special thanks go to our fans who have always been supportive of the whole team and me. I wish Hajduk all the best in the future. This is a great Club, and I am sure the team will get better and better later this season," said Jens Gustafsson on his departure.

"We wish coach Gustafsson a lot of luck and success in the continuation of his career," said HNK Hajduk. 

HNK Hajduk will announce the new coach of the first team next week.

Hajduk lost to Slaven Belupo in Koprivnica on Sunday in the 14th round of the Croatian First League. The Split team is currently fighting for 4th place with Gorica and Lokomotiva, which now have only three points less. Slaven Belupo was the last-placed team of the Croatian First League going into Sunday's match. 

Hajduk will play the current last-placed team Hr Dragovoljac on November 6 at Poljud.  

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Hajduk Strategy Until 2027: Two Croatian Titles, Champions League and Europa League Group

October 30, 2021 - The Hajduk strategy until 2027 was presented to fans. President Lukša Jakobušić and Management Board member Ivan Matana spoke at the ceremony, and the strategy developed by Matana was presented by Gordan Kožulj, who today works for Deloitte, which also participated in the strategy development.

Index.hr reports that in the beginning, Kožulj stated Hajduk's clear goals until 2027. In that period, Hajduk wants to win the championship twice, be second in other seasons and win at least one Cup. In addition, they intend to play the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers twice, the Champions League group once, the Europa League group once, and the Conference League group three times. In this competition, one entry into round of 32 and once into the round of 16 is expected. The average age of the A team of the club must be between 24 and 26 years, and every year the Hajduk junior team wants to promote two young players to the first team.

"Hajduk is currently the 140th club in Europe. For all Croatian clubs, including Hajduk, the key is to play in European competitions. Revenues from UEFA are significant for clubs, the value of players is rising, and there is a fight for the national coefficient. Hajduk has played only the preliminaries of the European League during the past five seasons. This Management is not satisfied with that. The Hajduk management believes that Hajduk can be between 80 and 100 on the UEFA rankings. Last year, Milan was 80, and Maribor was 100 with five million euros.

This is an example of clubs with a large budget falling to a lower level and clubs with a small budget, such as Maribor, getting a good result. We took the example of Rapid, Partizan, Legija and AZ Alkmaar. Hajduk and the Management must think about how to reach a budget of at least 20 million euros to achieve the desired goal," Kožulj said.

He also said that the Academy must help to improve results.

"We need to have professional staff who can hone their talent. When we came in 2016, we saw that Hajduk has 40 outside scouts. Only three of them made a report at the end of the year. Today the club has clear contours of an advanced organization," Kožulj said.

The development of the Academy includes the construction of a football camp with fields and ancillary facilities, the development of Hajduk Digital, developing the sales network and strengthening cooperation with sponsors and systematizing operations, establishing a new performance and reward management system, and developing three-year business plans.

In October 2015, Hajduk's then-president Marin Brbić published a three-year work plan and program from 2016 to 2019. Thus, already in the 2015/2016 season, the goal was to win one of the national trophies, and in the 2016/2017 season to be "the most serious candidate to win one of the national trophies and enter the group of UEFA competitions".

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

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