Duljaj: Being Shakhtar coach is a great honour

Wednesday, June 8, 2016



Former Shakhtar midfielder reflects on his appointment as the Pitmen’s assistant head coach

- Igor, you have joined the coaching staff of Paulo Fonseca. What does this position mean to you, what emotions are you experiencing?
- For me, it is a great honour! To be at a big club as Shakhtar, moreover in the first team... I work at the club that I strongly like and respect!

- What will be your responsibilities in the new role?
- Upon my arrival to Kyiv, we will discuss everything with the head coach Paulo Fonseca. I am sure that I can help because I know our team well, I played together with many footballers.

- You are the first foreigner, being a former Shakhtar player, who has become Shakhtar coach. Does it mean certain responsibility or additional opportunities?
- Great responsibility. As soon as was spread the information that I would be one of Paulo Fonseca’s assistants, I received numerous calls from Serbian journalists. This is an indication of the fact that Shakhtar is a European club that everybody knows. Therefore, working with the Pitmen’s coaching staff is an opportunity to gain additional experience for me. Because each coach has his own ideas and personal style.

- What changes will Shakhtar’s game undergo in the nearest future?
- Paulo Fonseca perfectly understands what he should do. We have very serious work ahead. I believe that the coaching staff, the players, the president and all the people who like and respect Shakhtar, that together we will make the team even stronger, enjoying its performance. Again, we have a lot of work to do.

- Did you talk with the captain Darijo Srna about your new job?
- Yes, when Darijo learned about my appointment, he congratulated me. To me, it means additional responsibility, because I know many players personally. In this regard, I have some experience. I want to thank Miguel Cardoso, with whom I have worked for a year and learned a lot. Shakhtar’s interest is our top priority, and we must all work together for a common goal.

- What will you start your work with?
- On June 11 I am flying Kyiv, on the 12th I will meet with the coach, he will present his programme to us and tell us the details for the nearest future. Again, our job as assistants is to help him in achieving results.