FK Sarajevo FC Youth Academy Trials

Have you been looking for a reputable football academy in Bosnia? Then, this article titled ”FK Sarajevo FC Youth Academy Trials” is for you. To facilitate understanding, we shall discuss; Entering requirements FK Sarajevo Fc Academy, FK Sarajevo FC, Owner Of FK Sarajevo, and Butmir Training Centre.

Now, let’s discuss the FK Sarajevo FC Youth Academy Trials.

Introduction To FK Sarajevo Academy

The youth system of Bosnian football club FK Sarajevo is the FK Sarajevo Youth School (Bosnian : Omladinski pogon Fudbalskog kluba Sarajevo). The academy is considered the best in the country.

The system is divided into two sections; the Asim Ferhatović Hase School of Football (Bosnian : Škola fudbala Asim Ferhatović Hase), and the FK Sarajevo Academy (Bosnian: Akademija fudbalskog kluba Sarajevo). The former is named after legendary striker Asim Ferhatović, and operates as both a general model for the popularization of the sport and as a scouting unit. They scout young talented athletes who are later transferred to the academy.

Meanwhile, the academy is a world-class boarding school that takes in the biggest Bosnian and Herzegovinian talents. They also organize the competitive youth selections for the club. While the Youth school comprises teams for the Under-8 through to the Under-16 age groups, the academy is divided into the U-15 (younger cadets), U-17 (older cadets), and U-19 (junior) selections.

Historically, the department is considered the best youth setup in the former Yugoslavia. It was founded in the 1950s and Its training philosophy does not only cover the development of the potential of football players. However, it also ensures care for the players’ growth, education and character formation, sporting spirit, and loyalty to the club.  Our young athletes compete in several tournaments across Europe, asides from national competitions.

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They do this to nurture and test their abilities against some of the best teams in European. Tournaments like Kvarnerska Rivijera, Trofeo Dossena, Generali CEE Cup, and the Karol Wojtyla Cup are competed by our youth selection locally.

The Asim Ferhatović Hase Sports Complex and the elite Butmir Training Centre serve as the training venues for FK Sarajevo’s youth teams.  Although, it is currently under expansion as of February 2015. FK Sarajevo’s farm team, NK Bosna Visoko usually receives youth team players that don’t sign professional contracts with the club. Several Bosnian and Yugoslavian athletes are products of the  FK Sarajevo youth system.

Gaining Entrance Into FK Sarajevo Football Academy

This is synonymous with FK Sarajevo FC Youth Academy Trials. The basic requirement to get a trial is to possess the desirable talent of football. Also, to be always informed and available whenever the club’s scout comes around. But, bear in mind that most times, you won’t notice their presence. So, diligence is also of key importance rather than sending your football clips to the FK Sarajevo Football Academy mail. This is because most times the operators of the mailbox don’t go through all the videos and links.

Also, by enrolling in a soccer school run by the FK Sarajevo Football Club. It is the most achievable way as the chances of getting a trial is high. In addition, during your local club training, the club can send out scouts to observe young players. The scouts already have the qualities they wish to see. So, once they discover it, they make contact with your coach or manager. After that, they send you an invitation to the club’s development center for an interview. Most importantly, enrolling children in football schools helps to properly develop them. This way, when the players get to the pitch, it won’t be a big challenge.

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Due to the open trial policy of the academy, there is a rush in the application. So, it is advisable to visit the academy’s website to apply. But, note that, only those within the age of 8 years are eligible. In addition, the club still offers forms for Football Academy Scholarships in Bosnia.

On the other hand, the academy scouts help to get youths to join the FK Sarajevo Football Academy. International students can also apply through the club’s website. You can follow these steps:

  • Present a credible account of yourself. This includes contact and previous clubs if any.
  • The approval of the guardian or parents. Meanwhile, this applies majorly to players under 18 years.
  • Make sure you submit a video of yourself. Also, this applies majorly to international youngsters.

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Butmir Training Centre

The training ground of FK Sarajevo is the Football Club Sarajevo – Butmir Training Centre (Bosnian : Trening center Fudbalskog kluba Sarajevo – Butmir). The camp which comprises several sports facilities was officially opened after the first stage of construction was completed on 24 October 2015. It is located in the neighborhood of Butmir, which is part of the Ilidža municipality in Sarajevo Canton, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. Presently, the second of three construction phases is underway, in process of expanding the center.  

Background

The absence of a club-owned training facility was hindering the club’s goals and Independency when  Vincent Tan acquired the club’s management rights in late 2013. The component facilities of the municipality-owned Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium were used by FK Sarajevo. It was considered primitive and restricted full organizational and financial independence. As a result, the club management led by Tan and the Berjaya Group went in search of a location for the construction of new and modern facilities.

Due to its close proximity to the Sarajevo International Airport and the suburb of Ilidža, the Butmir neighborhood was picked. Also, because of the already existing training grounds used by a private football academy run by former FK Sarajevo captain Predrag Pašić.  The club acquired the 17-acre (70,000 square meters) land plot from the Ilidža municipality and a local agricultural coop, who were joint owners.  On 24 December 2014, an agreement was signed with construction contractors for the first phase of construction to commence in July. In August 2015, the first phase of construction was completed, costing allegedly 8 million KM. The facilities were granted a FIFA PRO license on 14 December 2015.

Facilities And Structures

The entry gate of the training center leads to a large plaza, water fountain, botanical gardens, bus terminus, and parking lot. The main facility building comprises a 5-star hotel with 15 rooms, 10 studio apartments, 2 VIP apartments, a restaurant with a kitchen, a VIP restaurant, indoor and outdoor cafés, a wellness center, gym, one large and two smaller conference rooms, and designated administration, technical and financial floors. After redevelopment completion, the center will also consist of an indoor futsal arena, a beach football court, a shooting area, tennis courts, two large artificial turf grounds, and one large natural turf ground.

In addition, the center will be encompassed by a man-made hill with an adjacent park and bungalows. As of 28 July 2016, the second phase of construction work commenced. Presently, the entrance, plaza, and grounds are completed and in use. Club legend Želimir Vidović, who was killed during the Siege of Sarajevo while transporting wounded citizens to a nearby hospital, was honored by having the main artificial turf pitch named after him.

The western grass knoll that encompasses the turf has the statue of Vidovic.

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Other Uses Of The Center

The FK Sarajevo Academy also uses the center for their home games and training sessions. The center will provide a boarding facility for the academy members, consisting of the aforementioned bungalows, after its completion. Also, the women’s team trains and plays friendly fixtures on the facility pitches. Occasionally, the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team also uses the training camp. Above all, as a way of giving back to the community, the club employs war veterans from the Ilidža municipality in the training center.

The Head Coach Of FK Sarajevo Academy

The manager of the Sarajevo U19 teamis Dženan Uščuplić (born 18 August 1975). He is a Bosnian professional football manager who was formerly a player.

His Experience As A Footballer

Uščuplić won 3 Bosnian cup titles and one Supercup as a Sarajevo player. He also played for Olimpik. However, due to a chronic knee injury that he suffered in April 1998, he retired in the summer of 2002 aged 27.

His Managerial Experiences

 Uščuplić was an assistant to former first-team manager Robert Jarni in the Sarajevo youth academy for nine years. He was finally appointed manager in 2014. He ended a seven-season silverware drought after he led the club to a cup victory in his first season in charge. However, following a series of bad results, he returned to the Club’s academy after his dismissal on 26 September 2014. He completed the UEFA Pro Licence program on his return to the academy.

He replaced Meho Kodro and returned as the club’s manager on 21 April 2015. Just shortly after, he led the club to a league triumph. Unfortunately,  Uščuplić and his whole staff were sacked after a series of poor results on 11 September 2015. The build-up to the dismissals reached its peak in the loss against Slavija Sarajevo.

Uščuplić was yet again named as Sarajevo’s interim manager until the end of the 2020-21 season, six years later, on 13 May 2021. This was after the club ag terminated Vinko Marinović’s contract by mutual agreement following a run of poor results in the last few games of the season.  Uščuplić recorded a draw against Mladost Doboj Kakanj in a league game in his first game as a manager on 16 May 2021. On the 23rd of the same month, he oversaw his first win as manager against Radnik Bijeljina. Uščuplić led Sarajevo to yet another Bosnian cup victory, just three days later, on 26 May. His side beat Borac Banja Luka in the final.

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Following Aleksandar Vasoski’s resignation, he became Sarajevo’s interim manager until the end of the 2021-22 season, for the second time that year, on 12 May 2022.  He led the club to finish in 4th place that season. He failed to qualify for European competition for a second time in six years after losing to Velež Mostar in the 2021–22 Bosnian Cup final.

About FK Sarajevo

Bosnian professional football club Fudbalski klub Sarajevo (Cyrillic: Фудбалски клуб Сарајево; English: Sarajevo Football Club) is based in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The club was founded on 24 October 1946.

FK Sarajevo is one of the most successful clubs from SR Bosnia and Herzegovina in the former SFR Yugoslavia. They have won two Yugoslav First League titles, finished runners-up on two other occasions, and are ranked 6th in that competition’s all-time table.

FK Sarajevo has won five Bosnian championships, seven Bosnian Cups, and one Bosnian Super Cup, making them one of the most notable members of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, they also finished runners-up in the national championship another seven times. The club is their country’s best ambassador in European competitions. They are also ranked first in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina all-time table. FK Sarajevo is the most popular football club in the country, with their major rivals being  FK Željezničar. Their fixture is called the Sarajevo derby, also known as the Eternal derby (Vječiti derbi).

The Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium serves as the club’s home ground. It was named in honor of legendary club striker Asim Ferhatović. The stadium is the largest in the country with a capacity of 34,500 seats.

Background

The postwar Yugoslav authorities founded FK Sarajevo, its only major football club, in the city of Sarajevo. In the 1948–49 season, the club joined the Yugoslav First League and eventually participated in all but two seasons in the top division. FK Sarajevo became one of the country’s biggest representatives after Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia. In hopes of gaining international support for the country’s cause, they went on a large world tour during the Bosnian War.

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Origins

Due to the fusion of local Sarajevo football clubs Udarnik (Vanguard) and Sloboda (Liberty), FK Sarajevo was created on 24 October 1946. That same year, the club debuted on the Yugoslav sports scene and was initially called SD Torpedo. The name was to pay homage to Torpedo Moscow. Safet Džinović became the club’s first chairman with the vice-chairmen Vojo Marković and Alojz Stanarević respectively.

Also, they appointed Josip Bulat as manager. The new team inherited the results and league standings of Udarnik. The team comprised selected players from both Udarnik and Sloboda. They included the likes of Hodžić, Vlajičić, Šarenkapa, Pauković, Fizović, Konjević, Radović, Viđen and Mustagrudić from the former, and Mantula, Glavočević, Tošić, Pecelj, Novo, Strinić, Đ. Lovrić and Alajbegović from the latter.

On 3 November 1946, the team played its first match. Historically, the club changed its name to SDM Sarajevo, on the proposal of then editor of the popular daily newspaper Oslobođenje, Mirko Ostojić. In 1949, they finally changed it to the current name. Yugoslav footballing legend Miroslav Brozović brought a largely needed experience when he joined SDM Sarajevo in September 1948. Previously, the Mostar native wore the black and white jersey of FK Partizan, and also captained the Yugoslav national team. Brozović focused on promoting the team to the Yugoslav First League after he accepted the position of player-manager.

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 FK Sarajevo knocked out Belgrade club Sloga to enter the top-tier Yugoslav First League for the first time. Having drawn the first leg 3:3 in Novi Sad, they won the secondly convincingly 5:1 in Sarajevo. However, after their first season in the First League, the team was relegated. In 1950, they achieved promotion back to the top flight. Afterward, FK Sarajevo competed in every season of the First League apart from 1957 to 1958. The club competed in the 1960 Mitropa Cup and the 1961–63 Balkans Cup, their first European competitions. They finally made their first major European competition appearance when they competed in the 1962–63 Intertoto Cup.

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An Overview Of FK Sarajevo Stadium

People commonly refer to the Koševo City Stadium (Bosnian , Croatian  and Serbian: Gradski stadion Koševo / Градски стадион Кошево), as Koševo Olympic Stadium or Stadium Asim Ferhatović – Hase[4 (Stadion Asim Ferhatović Hase / Стадион Асим Ферхатовић Хасе). The multi-purpose stadium is located in the Koševo neighborhood of Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. They officially named it Olimpijski stadion Koševo – Asim Ferhatović-Hase. The city has ownership of the stadium and leased on a long-term basis by football club FK Sarajevo.  In honor of its former footballer and club legend, Asim Ferhatović – Hase, the club proposed a new name for its sporting and football events. The stadium was the venue for the opening ceremony of the 1984 Winter Olympics.

The Construction Work Of The Stadium

The stadium was opened in the year 1947 but was reconstructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, the following year. As a result, it’s often called Olympic Stadium.

Currently, Koševo has a capacity of 34,500 spectators, and up to 70,000 for musical and various public events. The stadium had hosted music and public events like; U2’s concert as part of their PopMart Tour in 1997,  Dino Merlin’s Burek tour in 2004 and Hotel Nacional in 2015, or hosting of papal pastoral visitations by Pope John Paul II between 12–13 April 1997 and Pope Francis on 6 June 2015. It also hosted the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team’s home games for a long time.

Background Details

In 1947, they started construction works and the stadium lay on a local hill. Hence, blending in with its natural surroundings. They included a pitch and a tartan track in 1950. Yugoslavia and Turkey played the stadium’s first international football match in 1954.

However, they renovated the stadium to serve as the venue for an athletic championship for the Balkans which was held in 1966. They built a new administration building along with new locker rooms and a restaurant. Also, they installed a modern scoreboard and new lighting.

After the Bosnian War in 1988, they renovated the stadium for the third time. They reduced the seating capacity of the stadium to 34,500 after they added chairs on every stand.

The stadium hosted  FK Sarajevo’s and FK Željezničar’s international home matches. Europe’s finest clubs like Manchester United, Dynamo Kyiv, Derby County, Basel, Hamburger SV, Newcastle United, Celtic, etc at one point, used the stadium.

The 1981–82 Yugoslav First League match between Sarajevo and Željezničar saw the stadium record its largest attendance. Although they didn’t officially reveal the exact number, about 60,000 people allegedly attended the game. They made the stadium, FK Sarajevo’s de facto property after they leased it to them for the next 30 to 45 years in April 2021.

The FK Sarajevo FC Youth Academy Trials in relation to the 1984 Winter Olympics.

About The 1984 Winter Olympics

The Asim Ferhatović Hase stadium served as the venue of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Winter Olympics on 7 February 1984. They thoroughly renovated and expanded it for this occasion that recording about 50,000 spectators. The west stand held 18,500 seating places at that time.

The Owner Of FK Sarajevo

The Malaysian Chinese businessman and investor Vincent Tan Chee Yioun (Chinese: 陳志遠; pinyin: Chén Zhìyuǎn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Chìuán) was born in Bath Pahat in 1952. He is the founder of Berjaya Corporation Berhad, a diversified conglomerate listed on the Malaysian stock exchange. Tan’s other stakes include interest in internet-related businesses, water utilities, media, retail, and telecommunications, apart from his stakes in the Berjaya Corporation group of companies.

He made the Forbes billionaire list with an estimated worth of USD 1.6 billion (RM4.2 billion) in 2010.  Tan’s success in the Malaysian business sector has been attributed in part to his close association with prominent Malay political figures.

His Biography

Tan studied at Batu Pahat High School having been born in Batu Pahat in 1952. He had initially planned to study law in New Zealand, however,  he found work as a clerk in a bank instead due to the failure of his father’s business. Impressively, he sold life insurance for AIA and became an agency manager at AIA by the age of 23.

Afterward, Tan began private companies in trading, credit, general insurance, and real estate. He undertook a joint venture with Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance that became United Prime Insurance. In 1981, he won a McDonald’s franchise in Malaysia and took the course of an advanced operation at Hamburger University. In 1982,  Tan became the managing director of McDonald’s Malaysia.

The Business Lane Of The Club

Berjaya Corporation

Tan moved into Berjaya in 1984. They purchased 48% of the consumer durables company Regis the same year. Tan and the then finance minister Daim Zainuddin had a business relationship. Tan acquired 51% of Sports Toto from the Malaysian government in 1985. The pre-tax profit of Sports Toto rose from RM 5 million in 1985 to RM 36 by April 1989. In order to gain control of Berjaya, he invested his shares in Sports Toto into Berjaya. In 1988, he swapped his shares in Berjaya for Raleigh Bhd, a loss-making company linked to Daim. They later renamed it to Inter-Pacific and turned it into Berjaya’s holding company. Berjaya’s pretax profit rose from RM 700,000 in 1984 to RM 70 million in 1989, when he was in charge.

Tan received a gaming license for his wholly-owned subsidiary Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd in 2010. Unfortunately, they revoked the license in October 2010. However, the government said it had no plans to reissue it, as of July 2018.

Below are the listed subsidiaries under Berjaya Corporation Berhad:

  • Berjaya Land Berhad
  • Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad
  • Berjaya Food Berhad (including Pappa Rich brand) • REDtone International Berhad
  • Berjaya Philippines Inc.

Football

Cardiff City

After a consortium of Malaysian investors (led by Dato Chan Tien Ghee) acquired 30% of Cardiff City shares, Tan gained ownership of the club in May 2010.

The consortium offered to invest £100 million to increase the stadium’s capacity and build a new training ground in May 2012. However, it was under the condition that they got permission to rebrand the club from blue to red. The plans sparked outrage among Cardiff supporters who quickly organized an emergency meeting to discuss how they would respond to the proposal. Subsequently, they terminated the plans.

Cardiff went ahead with the rebranding a month later to expand its appeal in foreign markets. They changed their home strip from blue to red. They also included a red dragon in their redesigned badge. Importantly, they also cleared the club’s £30 million debt to the Langston Corporation. Tan promised to spend £25 million to help Cardiff establish itself in the top flight following Cardiff’s promotion to the Premier League in April 2013. He also publicly stated his interest in listing his 36.1% stake on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE). In an attempt to raise capital for the expansion of the business, an initial public offering (IPO) would sell shares in the club to the public for the first time.

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In October 2013, Tan suspended Iain Moody, the club’s head of recruitment, who had apparently overspent by £15 million during the summer transfer window. This generated more controversies. Initially, they added Moody to the backroom staff by manager Malky Mackay. He helped Cardiff sign several players ahead of their inaugural Premier League campaign. However, they replaced him with Alisher Apsalyamovby. He is a 23-year-old Kazakh who has work experience with the club and is a friend to Tan’s son. Alisher left the club a few months later, following an investigation over his visa.

Tan got angry with Mackay because he publicly stated his plans to boost his squad during the January transfer window despite overspending during the summer.  Tan didn’t make available any money. Despite Tan’s criticism, Mackay insisted that he would not resign. Subsequently, Cardiff fans backed him up. However, Tan gave Mackay an option to resign or receive a sack letter towards the end of December.

Mackay oversaw two more games before they sacked him. Mackay allegedly sent texts of an anti-Chinese nature after his dismissal. Dave Whelan, the owner of his subsequent employers Wigan Athletic defended him. Tan called both of them racists in his response, stating  “I hope that stops at two racists in Wigan, not snowballing to 2,000 or 20,000 racists in Wigan.”

Foot Note

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær replaced Mackay on 2 January 2014. Unfortunately, Cardiff was unable to escape relegation. Russell Slade replaced Solskjær who left the club later that year.

Tan hired Neil Warnock who at the time was the oldest working coach in Britain, as manager, in October 2016. Cardiff City achieved promotion to the Premier League once again by 2018. However, they were relegated to the Championship after finishing in 18th place in their first season back.

More On FK Sarajevo

Tan bought the Bosnian club FK Sarajevo in December 2013. Cardiff was to comply with FK Sarajevo as stated in the deal, exchanging players and taking part in a football academy. Tan aims to bring in young talents through the academy. But, he is yet to establish it. Players like Miloš Stojčev, Džemal Berberović and Nemanja Bilbija signed for FK Sarajevo. They helped the club win their first title since winning the domestic Premier League in 2006-07, and the 2013–14 Bosnian Cup.

They achieved this under Robert Jarni who became their manager in December 2013. However, they dismissed him after only four months (on 7 April 2014, while the team was still in the semi-finals of the Bosnian Cup). This was because the club had failed to keep its hopes of winning the premier league title alive during the later stages of the 2013-14 season. FK Sarajevo played a friendly match against Tan’s Cardiff City FC U21, winning 4–1, in July 2014.  FK Sarajevo went on to qualify for the play-off round of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. However, they lost to the German Bundesliga side, Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The heaviest rains and floods in over 120 years hit Bosnia and the surrounding environs in May 2014. Flooding majorly affected the towns of Doboj and Maglaj. This happened on all major roads which resulted in them cutting it off from the rest of the country. Twenty-four people felt the drastic impact of landslides and floods. This resulted in a high cost of hundreds of millions of Euros. According to officials, the cost of the disaster could exceed that of the Bosnian War. While the people of Malaysia raised a total of €169,000 toward Bosnia’s flood relief fund, Tan made a personal donation of €114,000 in June 2014.

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On 17 July 201, Tan presented pledges of assistance of €255,000 each to two hospitals in Doboj and Maglaj. He did it for the purpose of purchasing medical equipment. This presentation happened during the halftime break of the Europa League qualifying match between FK Sarajevo and Norwegian club FK Haugesund at the Olympic Stadium in Sarajevo. Tan stated in a pre-match interview,

“Because of my involvement with Sarajevo Football Club, when I heard about the floods, I urged the Sun newspaper to run a campaign to raise donations to help Bosnia.”

Inter-relationship With Horse racing

Tan (through one of his representatives) bought a two-year-old colt from Doncaster Bloodstock Breeze-Up Sales for £190,000 in April 2014. Australian Jeremy Gask reared it in Wiltshire. Eamonn Wilmott, Gask’s business partner, said: “We are very excited, and pleased to have Mr. Tan involved. The horse looks exceptional and dominated the parade rings outside the sales.”

The Philanthropic Aspect

Tan discovered the Better Malaysia Foundation, which offers interest-free loans and scholarships to students in need. Due to his pledge to donate half of his fortune to social causes, they featured him on Forbes Asia’s list of Heroes of Philanthropy in 2011. Vincent Tan donated RM500,000 to Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Malaysia in 2017. Thereby, summing up his total donations to both organizations to RM7.6 million.

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