Eurobasket: Coach Jordanco Davitkov (agency: Global Sports Plaza ) you have had major success in Kuwait over the last few years. Anytime someone comes to a country and in three years they win five gold medals with three championships back to back, of course its going to get noticed. You were able to take Qadsia to 3 back to back championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. You also won the GCC in 2009 and won the Cup Title in 2010. That makes five gold medals in three seasons! Now you're with Al Jahra Club. I know how talented Jahra players are, so Im sure you're excited about working with them. Aside from being Jahra's head coach, you were also selected as the National Team Coach...Can you tell us how this came about?
Coach J. Davitkov: As you already said, for these past three years in Kuwait during my coaching engagement with Qadsia I won 5 five gold medals. Each year I won the Championship Title, so with that team I accomplished every challenge, and I am hungry for new challenges. Although it is a young team, Jahra is promising and interesting with great potential. It is also one of the most serious teams in Kuwait aside from Kuwait club, Qadsia and Kazma... also teams with quality, who are certainly attacking on a Championship Title. So it will not be easy, but we will give the best of ourselves to achieve great result! The other engagement... becoming a Head Coach of Kuwait National Basketball Team is a special and great honor for me. This acknowledges my strategic efforts and continuous accomplishments during my professional coaching engagement in Kuwait for the past three year, especially after winning five gold medals. I'll give the best of me to ensure the trust that I was given by the Kuwait Federation. Not only because of the moral obligations, but also because I have given the my best, even in the tough situations. This is a part of my intrapersonal characteristics, kind of like my lifestyle.
Eurobasket: Is this your first time as a National team Coach?
Coach J. Davitkov: I was Head Coach of Macedonian National Team for seven years, from 2001 until 2007. Aside from my other qualifications, experience is very valuable. especially with me coaching that years Championship team as well. That double role is similar with the position of my current engagements in Kuwait. accepting this position with Kuwait National Team makes me the first basketball coach from Macedonia who became a Head Coach of a National Team of a foreign country, which gives me an extra moral satisfaction, honor and pleasure!
Eurobasket: When will the players be selected for the National team this year, or have they already been identified?
Coach J. Davitkov: The players are already selected. They are all very motivated and are practicing hard and enthusiastic. In the first phase initially 20 players were chosen who have started with practicing, and from them I selected 16 players who will continue on a preparation in Saraevo. After coming back from Camp in Saraevo, after they play a few friendly games I will decide which 12 of them will configure the team for Bahrain.
Eurobasket: What is your plan in preparing the team for the GCC? Lots of practice will be needed, but I'm sure you will have a great camp in Saraevo?
Coach J. Davitkov: The preparations are intensive. After the initial practices on our home court, the practices will continue in Sarajevo (Bosnia) where friendly games are planned in order to improve competition forms. During the Camp in Bosnia 8-10 friendly games are planned. After which, we are coming back in Kuwait, where the final practices will be done before going on to the GCC in Bahrain. The players presence and devotion are totally satisfying, according to the players words, this is the biggest response on a National Teams practices compared to the past years seasons, which certainly gives us extra motivation!
Eurobasket: Assuming you are successful in the GCC, how do you plan to roll the momentum over from the National Team to Al Jahra? It's a lot easier to win with a team of the best players the country has to offer, but when your back with your home club, you will deal with young players and developing the talent you have present. Is this a challenging task?
Coach J. Davitkov: At this point, so early in the game making an assumption is untimely. We'll go step by step...At this very moment, the most important thing is to be dedicated to preparations! The aim, expectations and objectives are really high, but as usual... it wont be easy. We need huge efforts and continuous work in order to accomplish good result in the GCC. If we take in a consideration that very strong National teams are attending GCC and some of them will attend Asian Championship, and will have had an opportunity to play more games which prepares them to come into the GCC with better competition form. Anyway... arguable, we are certainly going on to win a medal! The other engagement with Jahra, is a separate challenge to which I am approaching with the same flame, devotion and enthusiasm! I am devoted to each job I do, so I seriously intend to turn this challenge into another winning opportunity!
Eurobasket: In the past Jahra has performed exceptionally well, and tend to bring in very talented imports. From 2006-2010, American Cedric Taylor (202-F-79, college: Pikeville) was the nucleus for Jahra, landing them in the (Golden 4) 2 years consecutively. John Oden (206-F/C-80, agency: Strategic Sports, college: S.Indiana) came in last year and brought some size in the paint. I'm sure Jahra has brought you in to complete the cycle...seems they have been building to this point, what you will bring to take them to a championship?
Coach J. Davitkov: Taking in a consideration the structure of Jahra team, we will engage the import player on position 5, who will play in the paint. Because the rules of Kuwait Basketball Federation allows only one import player to be on the court, the second import player will be an all around court player, able to play different positions. I hope that import players combined with domestic players will act in synergy and will create a compact team capable to play quality basketball!
Eurobasket: were you given authority to make certain decisions with the club? I know usually the management will ask coaches for input on the import players they pursue, so how much of the decision is on you?
Coach J. Davitkov: For every team that I am coaching, always I am the only one that is making the decisions about each player. I dont allow anyone to interfere in the choice of players. That is kind of a rule of mine, because that responsibility is mine!
Eurobasket: Did you sign a multi-year deal with Jahra?
Coach J. Davitkov: During my coaching career, my approach is not to deal with long term contracts, so and this time I signed one year contract. Maybe I won't sound modest, but I really have great self-confidence, and I am aware of my potential so there is no need to be tied that way. If there is a mutual benefit, there is always an opportunity to sign the contract again.
Eurobasket: what are you goals with this team, knowing what you have seen for the past few years? Where do you envision Jahra by the end of the season? Is this the year for the championship?
Coach J. Davitkov: I am persuaded that Jahra is a promising team; otherwise, I would'nt have signed the contract! I recognize Jahras potential, and I'll work hard enough to improve this teams performances in order to achieve the best results ever!
Eurobasket: Coach it is always a pleasure to talk with you, and I wish you the best of luck with the National Team, and Jahra Club. Is there anything Eurobasket should know about coach Davitkov that your profile does not show?
Coach J. Davitkov: Thanks...The pleasure is mutual. I am always in the mood to talk about basketball. Basketball is my life, although I have graduated from two Facilities, basketball remains my basic vocation! Behind me I have 22 years of playing with championship titles and a 12 year coaching career. It is not only an issue of pure talent, but that I have succeeded combining talent with hard work, huge efforts, devotion and my fire for basketball! I am really glad that my success as a player is seriously repeating on my coaching career. With faith in God, I am hoping to achieve other, bigger successes in future!
Kazma (D1) signed experienced 34-year old forward Abdullah Al Sarraf (190-82) from Al Arabi. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Al Sarraf played in the final of Kuwait League in 2012. He was also voted Asia-Basket.com All-Kuwait League Guard of the Year in 2014. Al Sarraf played at the Arab Club Championships nine years ago. He has played also professionally for other Kuwaiti teams like Al Qadsia and Al Kuwait. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete T... [read more]
Kazma (D1) signed experienced 34-year old forward Abdullah Al Sarraf (190-82) from Al Arabi. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Al Sarraf played in the final of Kuwait League in 2012. He was also voted Asia-Basket.com All-Kuwait League Guard of the Year in 2014. Al Sarraf played at the Arab Club Championships nine years ago. He has played also professionally for other Kuwaiti teams like Al Qadsia and Al Kuwait.
Al Jahraa the 5th and Al Nasar the 6th of last season have announced that they renew with their coaches to stay in their positions for upcoming season. Al Jahraa coached by the 59 years old Bosnian coach Sabit Hadzic while Al Nasar coached by 45 years old Macedonian coach Georgi Knjazev who has been working in Kuwait in several positions since 2005. On the other side, Al Arabi have agreed terms with their new head coach for upcoming, after been in talk with several Arabian and European co... [read more]
Al Jahraa the 5th and Al Nasar the 6th of last season have announced that they renew with their coaches to stay in their positions for upcoming season. Al Jahraa coached by the 59 years old Bosnian coach Sabit Hadzic while Al Nasar coached by 45 years old Macedonian coach Georgi Knjazev who has been working in Kuwait in several positions since 2005. On the other side, Al Arabi have agreed terms with their new head coach for upcoming, after been in talk with several Arabian and European coaches .. Al Arabi management decided to sign with the head coach of Kuwaiti NT the Kuwaiti coach Khaled AlQallaf .. Al Arabi has made big deals after signed with several local stars but the team couldn't make better than 4th position in the league. in his most recent position coach Khaled was the head coach of Kuwait NT in FIBA asia 2015.
Kuwaiti Cup champions Kazma have announced 56 years old Serbian/Dutch coach Toni Vujanic as their new coach for the upcoming season. Vujanic will be replacing American coach Douglas Marty who led the team to won the cup title last season and got 3rd position in the league. The Serbian coach coached in Morocco last 2 seasons he was head coach of Morocco NT beside his position as head coach of MCO Mouloudia Oujda, he helped the team to got 3rd position in the league last season. he has long... [read more]
Kuwaiti Cup champions Kazma have announced 56 years old Serbian/Dutch coach Toni Vujanic as their new coach for the upcoming season. Vujanic will be replacing American coach Douglas Marty who led the team to won the cup title last season and got 3rd position in the league. The Serbian coach coached in Morocco last 2 seasons he was head coach of Morocco NT beside his position as head coach of MCO Mouloudia Oujda, he helped the team to got 3rd position in the league last season. he has long experience in Middle east area he coached in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq before and this is his first experience in Kuwait. Here is Coach Toni Awards/Achievements: Dutch Champions -87, 88 Dutch Cup Winner -89 German Bundesliga B 1st place -00 German NVB Cup Winner -00 Qualified to FIBA cup -02 Austrian Supercup Winner -03 Austrian Cup Final 4 - 03 Spanish Guadalachara Cup Winner -04 Lebanese League Semifinals -05 Head Coach: Saudi Arabian National Team -05 Asian Championships in Doha -05 Cyprus Cup Semifinals -06 Lebanese League Semifinals -07, 10, 12 Asia-Basket.com All-Lebanese League Coach of the Year -07, 08, 09 Arab Club Championships Finalist -07, 10 Asia-Basket.com All-Arab Club Championships Best Coach -07, 10 Lebanese League Finalist -08, 09 Lebanese League Regular Season Runner-Up -08 Lebanese League Regular Season Champion -09 Bahrain League Semifinals -12 Bahrain League Regular Season Champion -13 Bahrain League Champion -13, 14 Zein Bahrain Basketball Cup -13 GCC qualification in Doha for Asian Club Championships -14 Bahrain League Regular Season Runner-Up -14 Asia-Basket.com All-Bahrain League Coach of the Year -14 Head Coach: Morocco National Team -15 Moroccan League Semifinals -16
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