By AZ Khan
At different times Pakistan got various foreign coaches who made their best efforts to improve the country’s football. Every coach had his own quality. Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic is one of them. The dynamic and shrewd, Zavisa gave a specific style to Pakistan football. It is always not easy for a coach to form a cohesive Pakistan’s unit. The players here come from diverse cultures and the contrasting environment they live in creates different qualities in them. The players of some regions are skilled but they lack speed. And some territories produce players with speed. A coach has to take into consideration all these and other factors before manufacturing his elite side.
Politics in Pakistan football is also another stiff challenge for a foreign coach to deal with. Under his belt during his two-year tenure as Pakistan’s coach (2011-2013) Zavisa did his best to convert Pakistan into a fighting unit. In his era Pakistan had started pulling off good results. Had he served Pakistan for a few more years things could have improved.
Zavisa, who now works with Uzbekistan, talks to thecricketplus.com about Pakistan’s football and excerpts of his interview are given below.
The Cricket Plus: You remained Pakistan coach for two years how did you find the talent?
Zavisa: The fact is that there is talent everywhere. There is no difference between children in Pakistan, Serbia or England.The solution is a well-organized system of work run by highly skilled football professionals.
The Cricket Plus: Were you independent in selection as Pakistan coach?
Zavisa: There are universal criteria for player selection at all levels. The coach responsible for the football team and result, should have complete freedom in the selection of the player to play.
The Cricket Plus: What about the existing league in Pakistan. Can we produce solid stuff through this exercise?
Zavisa: For general to talk about the progress of football in one country, it is imperative to build adequate infrastructure. The next crucial requirement is highly educated coaches, who will implement system of work. But, Pakistan has only one coach with Pro License.
The Cricket Plus: Do you think Pakistan football needs to be run by foreign administrators and coaches?
Zavisa: Bringing foreign quality coaches is the only way to develop football in Pakistan. The best example is Qatar. They worked many years under the organization of foreign experts, were obedient and patient and finally became champions of Asia.
The Cricket Plus: What do you think politics in football in Pakistan has ruined the sport?
Zavisa: Politics must not interfere in the work of a football organization. Yes, the role of politicians is also enormous in financial assistance to Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and clubs. When that is clear, football will become Pakistan’s biggest ambassador in the world.
The Cricket Plus: Would you like to become Pakistan coach once again?
Zavisa: I spent nice time in my coaching career in Pakistan. Pakistan is a big country with huge potential and I am convinced that Pakistan can become a leading football force in the region if it is well-organised. If that comes, of course, I would love to work again.
ZAVIŠA MILOSAVLJEVIĆ ( Zavisha Milosavljevich )
As a professional football coach worked since 1986.
UEFA A-DIPLOMA, AFC PRO – DIPLOMA , possess the title of professor of physical education—master degree-faculty of physical culture, Belgrade Yugoslavia and superior football coach- study group on physical education- Nish Yugoslavia.
In a 33-year long professional coaching career Zavisa worked as head coach at many clubs and national teams in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro (Europe), Rwanda (Africa), Lesotho (Africa), Pakistan (Asia), Kyrgyzstan (Asia), Uzbekistan (Asia) – currently.
Clubs: FC A.P.R.” Kigali RWANDA – Premier League 2 titles,
FC Dordoi Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan top league three titles, FC Mogren Budva – Montenegro Premier League , FC Bor – Yugoslavia first league, FC Dinamo Pancevo -Yugoslavia Premier League, FC Ozren Sokobanja Serbian League, FC Porec Donji Milanovac first Serbian League, FC Rtanj Boljevac Serbian League, FC Slatina Bor Serbian League, FC Zmaj Zemun Serbian League , FC Timok Zaječar FIRST Serbian League, Yanji FC China.
Europe: Head coach of Serbian national team U-12 1991-93, FA Yugoslavia U-12 1997, FA Serbia and
Montenegro national team U-16 2004/06, FA Serbia and Montenegro U-19 2006/07, national team of Serbia U-21 2010. -AFRICA: Since January 2008 to November 2009 Zavisa worked as a head coach – Lesotho senior national team
(qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa (Group: Ghana, Libya, Gabon and Lesotho).
Asia: From November 2011- October 2013 head coach – Pakistan senior team (SAFF final tournament in India 2011, AFC Challenge Cup in Kyrgyzstan – 2013, SAFF Cup 2013 in Nepal), and Pakistan Under-22 National Team Head Coach ( AFC U-22 Qualifiers Saudi Arabia 2012) and Pakistan U-23 team head coach ( Sri Lanka International Tournament final 2012), from January 2019 Uzbekistan U23 (qualified for AFC Championships 2020 in Thailand).