Beaten to the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Premier League by FK Željezničar last season, FK Sarajevo find themselves trailing their capital rivals by two points at the winter break and have turned to a big name to close the gap by appointing Robert Jarni as coach.
The 45-year-old replaces Husref Musemić at the 2006/07 champions, and the man capped seven times by Yugoslavia before going on to play 81 games for Croatia is familiar with his new club from the old federal First League, which Sarajevo won twice. Jarni has coached HNK Hajduk Split and NK Istra since the end of his hugely successful playing career which included a run to 1998 FIFA World Cup third place and major trophies with Juventus and Real Madrid CF, as well as also representing Croatia at futsal.
Jarni said: "As a Hajduk player I appeared at the Koševo [the former name for Sarajevo's Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium], and I told my new team that Sarajevo at that time were a really strong, tough team. I want to instil that sprit into these players, so every visiting team at the Koševo gets a reminder of what stadium they are playing at from the first minute."
Before their league campaign resumes on 1 March, Jarni will oversee training camps in Sarajevo and Citluk before travelling to Antalya in Turkey, where his side will play at least six friendlies. "Fighting for the title in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Premier League will be fierce, especially because there are only 11 games to go," he said. "There is no room for even one more poor performance if they want to recapture the title from their neighbors Željezničar."
The league is far from a two-horse race, though, with NK Široki Brijeg, NK Zrinjski and FK Borac Banja Luka all only two points behind Sarajevo and FK Olimpik Sarajevo two further back. At the bottom lie 2002/03 champions FK Leotar, with NK Travnik and FK Rudar Prijedor five and six points ahead respectively.
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