While club director Igor Barišić assures that Olimpija is also ready to pay compensation to Savo Milošević and Dino Skender, after two months of various speculations about punishments, the attention will (finally) shift back to the field.
They will be on Saturday at 3:00 p.m green and white started the second part of the season with a city derby in Stožice against Bravo. The goal is, of course, the league title (as well as winning the cup) and promotion to at least the Conference League in the summer.
As is well known, the Football Association of Slovenia confirmed a few days ago that Olimpija settled its obligations to former players for approximately 250,000 euros, due to which it was initially not allowed to register new football players. Former coaches Milošević and Skender will have to come from the president’s coffers of Adam Delius probably spend twice as much money, but these are not the only open debt fronts. Among other things, he is waiting for his own Robert Prosinečki.
On the other hand, in the dragon’s nest they are also hoping for an influx of funds due to court proceedings, as they are seeking justice from the International Football Association (FIFA) in the case of the talented 17-year-old striker Jake Čubra Potočnika, who unilaterally terminated his contract with Olimpia a year ago, in what they believe to be an irregular manner, and went to Cologne, where he now plays successfully in the under-19 team. They are asking for 2.5 million euros.
The key date for the people of Ljubljana will be March 31, by which they must submit the documentation to obtain a license for the coming season.
The youth captain came from Dinamo
Coach Albert Riera in mid-November, after the victory in Domžale, he said that it would be difficult for anyone to leave his “ship” in the winter, as he had double-locked all the doors. In the end, he really got his wish and, despite the nice offers, none of the players left the club. He just said goodbye Almedin Ziljkicwho will continue his career in Sarajevo.
The newcomers are the Croatian attacking midfielder Ivan Posavec (most recently Varaždin) and the young representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a 19-year-old striker Admir Bristrić (Rijeka) and a year younger midfielder Anes Krdžalićuntil now the captain of the youth team at Dinamo Zagreb, who will play for Olimpija as a loan player from the second division club Kustošija Zagreb.
They expect the most from the 16-year-old striker from the local youth team Aldin Jakupović, who also took part in the preparations. On trial is 25-year-old winger Cheick Timite from the Ivory Coast with experience in the French first division.
“There is no point in playing matches just to play them”
The leading team of the First League, Telemach, was preparing for the continuation of the championship in Belek and Medulin, but played only three friendly matches. With Rakow from Czestochowa, the leader in the Polish championship, they parted with 3:3, and with 1:0 they defeated the Croatian second division Orijent and, after the cancellation of the match with Rudeš, the Slovenian second division Jadran Dekani (see below for details).
Why so few preparatory meetings? “I stick to the rule that it’s not good to play if you’re not ready. If you’re only 50 to 60 percent ready, you can’t prove yourself, so there’s no point in playing games just to play them. I prefer to see that now we have more good training sessions where we can learn a lot of good details. We can learn more in that than in a match where we can’t give our all.” explained Riera in an interview with TV Slovenija in Medulin, who ordered the football players to “silenzio stampa” during the preparations.
In the standings, Olimpija has 13 points ahead of Koper, 14 ahead of Celje, 15 ahead of Maribor and 17 ahead of Domžale and Mura. “We are convinced that we are a great team. I told the players to forget about the advantage. We have to win, think about ourselves and focus on what we are doing,” says the Spaniard, who missed several goals in the autumn and wanted reinforcements in the attack.
He drives them, because they can still improve a lot
He also spoke for the club’s “television” and said about the preparation period: “I was satisfied with the preparations in Turkey. There it was mainly about regaining strength, fitness preparations. We also refreshed some tactical ideas, and in the ten days in Medulin we added some new ideas. I am completely satisfied with the team, how the boys reacted to my ideas. I already said when I came to the club that I was very surprised because in two weeks the players have accepted my philosophy and the way we want to play. Now it’s the same with new ideas and refreshments for the second part of the season. Ready we’re on Bravo.”
What will Riera pay the most attention to in the spring? “The plan is to keep winning, score as many goals as possible and concede as few as possible. I have mentioned many times that I am not interested in the difference in the table, but more in the feelings I have with this team, that the players believe that there are no limits for them. Of course I push them, I know they can improve a lot. My philosophy is simple: the better football you play, the closer you are to victory. We have to focus on knowing how to play in many different ways to adapt to our rivals. “
After the autumn part of the championship, Olimpija also shows well in the younger categories. The cadets are in the lead, the juniors are in fifth place, which means first place in the overall ranking. They also want to compete in Europe with the juniors next season.
Olympiad preparatory games
January 19 (Belek):OLYMPIA – RAKOW CZESTOCHOWA 3:3 (0:1) Estrada 67., Elšnik 76., Bristrić 83.; Cebula 16., Musiolik 60., Sukiennicki 90.
Starting line-up: Vidovšek, Lasickas, Karamatic, Milović, Krefl, Krdžalić, Gavrić, Sešlar, Kvesić, Nukić, Rui Pedro.
On the bench: Pintol, Ratnik, Sualehe, Crnomarković, Estrada, Doffo, Posavec, Elšnik, Jakupović, Aldair, Bristrić, Ristić.
January 28 (Medulin):OLYMPIA – ORIENT 1:0 (1:0) Posavec 27.
Starting line-up: Vidovšek, Karamatic, Ratnik, Estrada, Krdžalić, Elšnik, Aldair, Krefl, Posavec, Sešlar, Bristrić.
On the bench: Pintol, Mauricio, Crnomarković, Milović, Sualehe, Lasickas, Doffo, Kvesić, Gavrić, Jakupović, Nukić, Rui Pedro, Janković.
February 1 (Decans):JADRAN DECANI – OLYMPIA 0:1 (0:1) Sešlar 3.
Starting line-up: Vidovšek, Lasickas, Ratnik, Estrada, Sualehe, Krefl, Doffo, Elšnik, Kvesić, Sešlar, Nukić.
On the bench: Pintol, Mauricio, Milović, Gavrić, Jakupović, Rui Pedro, Janković, Aldair, Krdžalić, Bristrić, Posavec, Timite.
First League Telemach, 21st round
Saturday at 3:00 p.m.:OLYMPIA – BRAVO
At 17.30:CELJE – MURA
Sunday at 1:00 p.m.:GORICA – KALCER RADOMLJE
At 15:00:KOPER – MARIBOR
At 17.30:DOMŽALE – CB24 TABOR SEŽANA