“We’re excited that we’re not only creating opportunities for players…we’re creating them for coaches too.” Comments Ian Campbell on the announcement of a new coach for the 2017 League1 season for the FC LONDON Men’s team. Mario Despotovic who coached the League 1 Ontario to a record of 15W-5L-2T has accepted a full time professional position as the U-19 coach of Croatian First Division club Hajduk Split. Hajduk Split’s first team finished 3rd in 2015-16 and in 2004-05 they won the league. As the head coach of the U19 team, which acts as a reserve squad for the first team, he has earned an 18 month contract and sees it as a stepping stone to his goal as a Head Coach with a top European club.
Despotovic specifically notes that his time in League1 Ontario gave him the experience to take his coaching career to the next level. “I think League1 was an amazing learning experience for me, it’s a top quality league and coming to a different culture and building a team with senior players was something I did not do before.”
Mario will continue his role as a Technical Advisor to the FC LONDON coaching staff. “Using technology we can communicate with screen sharing, video analysis and conference meetings from anywhere in the world. We’ll continue to learn and educate coaches in Canada as they look to improve their football teaching abilities.”
In 2017 FC LONDON has again reached across the Atlantic in acquiring the services of Domagoj “Dom” Kosić, a certified UEFA “A” coach who will be taking on the role of Technical Director as well as coaching the Men’s League1 and OSL U21 teams. Trials for those team begin later this week. Dom, a big believer in a playing style similar to Despotovic, will continue promoting the “periodization model” adopted by FC LONDON in 2016, a model which proved successful in bringing home hardware at team and individual level for the club’s inaugural year in League1. Beyond his training in various Croatian top clubs, he has been educated in Amsterdam with coaching icon Raymond Verheijen.
Dom’s responsibilities will also extend to that of a supervisor for the roster of young coaches involved in the affiliated FC LONDON Academy program, a program for boys and girls aged 8-17.
Michael Marcoccia will remain as the coach of the Women’s League1 team and the U21 women’s team which is new this year. Michael was named “Coach of the Year” in Women’s League1 and will be at the celebrity table at the upcoming London Sports Celebrity dinner in London.