The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's most-capped player, Goce Sedloski is giving the benefit of experience to FK Turnovo, with the village side topping the league at the winter break.
Hired in September to replace Turkish coach Ali Güneş, the 39-year-old kicked off with two straight defeats, but the side from a settlement near Strumica – with a population of 500 – now top the table at the winter break, having registered the most wins (10) and the most goals (44) in the division. "Being top of the table after the first half of the season is a big success for us, and the credit goes to the players," said Sedloski. "Every game, they put their hearts out there."
A courageous defender with the likes of FK Pobeda, HNK Hajduk Split, NK Dinamo Zagreb, Sheffield Wednesday FC and Diyarbakırspor, Sedloski played for FYROM from 1994 until his retirement in 2010. He made history in May that year when he earned his 100th cap, skippering the national team for the last time in a 3-1 friendly win against Azerbaijan. He then kept himself busy coaching the youth team at his final club, Austrian side SV Mattersburg.
He also maintained his commitment to the national team, working as John Toshack's assistant before taking sole command as a caretaker for one game – a 1-0 friendly victory against Lithuania in August 2012. "That's history for me," he says now. "I was FYROM national coach for one night, we won that game, and that was that. Now my energies are focused strictly on Turnovo. My aim is to get the best possible results here with the club."
He is certainly succeeding in that aim, with four wins in a row sending his side into the winter break on a high, and his attack-minded side fighting well above their weight. Turnovo caused a stir by finishing second in the table last season – the best finish in their 63-year history – and the club that first won promotion in 2008 are now on course for a second bash at UEFA club competition football, having made their debut this summer.
"For now we are doing fine," explained Sedloski. "I'm pleased that I managed to transfer my philosophy to the players, and that they understand that results come only with hard work. That was my way of thinking when I was a player, and also now as a coach, so here we are at the top. We aren't thinking too much about whether we'll finish first or second. Our aim is to play European football next season and we will give our best to achieve that."
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