Borac Banja Luka coach Velimir Stojnić feels his side's place near the top of the Bosnia-Herzegovnian Premijer Liga is no great shock, explaining: "Just last year we had a promising season."
Level on points
Fifth place last time around was not enough to earn the 1988 Yugoslavian Cup winners a return to European football, but the team spearheaded by Under-21 international Nemanja Bilbija may yet improve on that in 2009/10. After five games, they are level on 13 points with FK Velež, trailing the Mostar side only by virtue of their rivals impressive goal difference.
Stojnić, who coaches the Bosnia-Herzegovina Under-17 team in tandem with Borac, said: "Just last year we had a promising season. We have started very well and we have enough strength to continue at the same tempo. Velež also got off to a good start and by the end of the first half of the season we can expect a tough fight for the top places."
Velež, Yugoslavian Cup winners in 1981 and 1986, have scored 15 goals in their five league games to Borac's nine, with young Adin Džafić scoring four of them. The club finished uncomfortably close to the relegation positions while neighbours NK Zrinjski took the title, but the roles have been reversed this season, with Zrinjski seven points adrift of Velež.
FK Sarajevo and FK Slavija Sarajevo have yet to look much like title challengers either, though the latter have had three tough away games already, drawing at NK Široki Brijeg and Zrinjski and losing at NK Travnik. Široki Brijeg, for their part, have changed coach with national team assistant coach Ivica Barbarić giving way to Toni Karačić.
Hiring and firing
Coaching changes have been coming thick and fast, even by Bosnia-Herzegovnian standards. FK Sloboda Tuzla are already on to their third of the season with Nermin Hadžiahmetović coming in following the departures of Sakib Malkočević and then Adnan Osmanhodžić. FK Olimpik Sarajevo, meanwhile have brought in Vlatko Glavaš for Husref Musemić, while Borče Sredojević will lead FK Leotar following the resignation of Srdjan Bajić.
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