Monday, 12 September 2022

Valdas Dambrauskas No Longer Coach of Hajduk Split

September 12, 2022 - Valdas Dambrauskas is no longer the coach of the HNK Hajduk. 

As of today, Valdas Dambrauskas is no longer the coach of the HNK Hajduk first team. Mutual termination of cooperation was agreed upon. As a result, his assistants Marius Skinderis and Justinas Gasiunas are leaving with him, announced Hajduk

In the coming period, the team will be led by coach Mislav Karoglan, who, as an assistant coach, participated in the work of the past two professional coaching staff. The Club will inform the public about his assistants.

Coach Dambrauskas took over the first team on November 2, 2021, and Hajduk played 38 official matches under his leadership, achieving 23 wins, eight draws, and seven losses. In total, he recorded 60.5% of victories, and if we look exclusively at league games, he won 71.1% of points. In his debut match, he won against Hrvatski Dragovoljac at Poljud 2:0, and his most significant victory was achieved recently in the championship match against Slaven Belupo, which Hajduk won 5:1.

He will be remembered as the coach who brought the first trophy to Poljud after nine years, defeating Rijeka in the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final. Until the end of last season, his team fought for both national trophies. The last time he led the team was in Šubićevac, where Hajduk drew 1:1 against Šibenik.

"We would like to thank coach Dambrauskas from the bottom of our hearts for the cooperation so far, and especially for the passion, knowledge, and energy shown by leading Hajduk, and we wish him the best of luck and success in the continuation of his coaching career," said Hajduk. 

Hajduk President Lukša Jakobušić publicly thanked the former coach and explained the reasons for this decision:

"Valdas Dambrauskas is no longer the coach of the first team, and in the coming period, the first team will be led by his former assistant Mislav Karoglan. Since his arrival, Valdas has brought energy and passion to the Club, and he subordinated his knowledge to Hajduk and created the atmosphere, and thus the game and the result. After a long time, Hajduk fought for trophies in the Cup and the championship. In the end, he succeeded. True, we finished in second place in the championship, but we won the Cup at Poljud. We all know what that means, and we've seen what it means to him. It is almost unimaginable for us that someone who was not born in this climate assimilates and connects with the Club in this way. Unfortunately, the atmosphere and energy we had at the end of last season did not translate into this season, and we were unable to follow the atmosphere and energy we have around the Club with performances and results on the pitch. 

Most of the public knows what kind of relationship the sports director and I have with the coach. A relationship full of sincerity and respect. That alone made this decision more difficult for us. All three of us have always been guided by the Club's interests, and this decision should be seen in that context.

The public has created an image that second place is a reality for us this season. Maybe that is true, but we will not and cannot be satisfied with that. Second place has yet to be won, and the Club must strive for the highest goals. I repeat, this decision should be viewed in that context because ours is not only to solve but also to anticipate problems.

I wish Valdas Dambrauskas all the luck in life, with the statistics that are almost impossible, the trophy he brought after many years, and his positive attitude, he showed that he loves this Club. Hajduk's doors are always open to him."

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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.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

First Lithuanian Coach in HNL History: Valdas Dambrauskas Takes Over Gorica

February 26, 2020 - Gorica introduced the successor of Sergej Jakirović, who was sacked as coach after Hajduk won 6:0 at Poljud. Valdas Dambrauskas is the new coach of Gorica. reports that Croatian First League club Gorica on Tuesday unveiled a new coach, 43-year-old Lithuanian Valdas Dambrauskas, who succeeded Sergej Jakirović.

He began his solo coaching career at the Kingsbury London Tigers in the English Premier League and then led the Lithuanian cadet (U-17) and junior (U-19) national teams. This was followed by engagements at Lithuanian clubs: he led Ekranas Panevežys for one year and had three seasons at FK Žalgiris, with whom he won the Lithuanian championship twice. For the last three years, he has led the Latvian RFS from Riga.

"I know the ambitions of the club, and I worked with the current sports director of Gorica (Mindaugas Nikoličius) for three years in Žalgiris. I have watched Gorica several times and know that they have beat top Croatian teams such as Rijeka and Hajduk. The team has that potential and I want to get back on that path,” Dambrauskas said.

Gorica is currently sixth in the First HNL with 31 points. Until the end of the championship, there are 13 rounds left, with seven points separating Gorica from positions leading to Europe. Gorica has two draws and two defeats in the spring season, and suffered the worst defeat on Saturday since playing in the Croatian First League, losing 0-6 at Poljud to Hajduk. After that, coach Jakirović was fired.

“Sergej Jakirović is no longer the coach of Gorica as of today.

Our current coach has left the bench of our first team after 616 days at the helm. During this period, he led Gorizia in 61 official games. We want to thank Sergei for all that he has done for Gorica,” the club wrote on their Facebook page on Monday.

Jakirović took over Gorica that summer after Ivan Prelec left for Poland.

Gorica then had standout players like Miya, Atiemwen, Zwolinski, who are no longer in the club. Some new players have arrived, though they have not been able to achieve the same chemistry.

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