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Senijad Ibričić for Nogomania: "Sarajevo is a major club. It's a big challenge which I couldn't refuse'

2. February 2024
Senijad Ibricic (foto: uradna spletna stran kluba)
Senijad Ibričić, the sporting director of Sarajevo, discusses his move from Slovenia, football dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and his ongoing affection for Hajduk.

Senijad Ibričić, Sarajevo's sporting director and former player in Slovenia, recently shared his insights on the transition from Domžale to FK Sarajevo. The rapid move last August saw the entire crew, including the coach, technical staff, and Ibričić as the sports director, shift to FK Sarajevo to fulfill the ambitious project envisioned by the club's owner, Ismir Mirvić.

Reflecting on the initial phase of stabilizing and acquainting with the club, Ibričić expressed satisfaction with the progress made.

"I believe we managed to stabilize everything during the autumn. Since we didn't form this team, we brought in some players. The team has now adapted to Simon Rožman's methodology, which might be slightly different for the BiH environment. Our goal is Europe, and I think we're heading in the right direction," he stated.

Ibričić, who had never returned to play in his native BiH, spent a substantial six years in Slovenia, playing a pivotal role in Domžale and later serving as the sports director. A sudden offer from Sarajevo, a club known for its grandeur in the former country, prompted his move. "Sarajevo is a major club. Honestly, I didn't ponder much. It's a significant challenge. The president, who also funds the club, shared the project with me, and that's how I found myself here," he remarked.

Football in Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen noticeable growth in recent years, with increased investments and stadium attendance surpassing that of Slovenia. It's evident that football is deeply ingrained in the country's culture. "A lot is being invested in football in BiH. The quality is rising, and stadiums are filling up. The league is covered by the media and the public. And Sarajevo is a significant club, holding the third-highest match attendance in the entire Balkans, after Hajduk and Crvena zvezda, naturally leading to high expectations," Ibričić noted.

Simon Rožman's different approach to football in BiH has been instrumental, according to Ibričić, who has worked closely with Rožman both as a player and a director. "Previously, the game in BiH might have been played more leisurely. Not with us. Discipline and order are mandatory, and maximum effort is required. I never doubted Simon. I know him well, and we've always cooperated effectively. I assessed that he's the right coach for this project, and I believe beautiful things await us."

Ibričić's tenure at Hajduk Split has left a lasting impact, with Croatian media keenly following his current administrative career and every visit to Split. His unwavering support for Hajduk, alongside his commitment to Sarajevo's project, is evident.

"I'm wholeheartedly involved in Sarajevo's project, but Hajduk... It's time. I hope Hajduk and its fans experience what they deserve. Such euphoria is unparalleled. It's indeed a massive club with significant renown. However, it won't be easy; the competition is tough. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!"

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