FK Pelister are looking to lure the F.Y.R. Macedonia national side to Bitola as they seek to mark their 80th anniversary with some renovation work at their ground.
Third in the Prva Liga table, but 24 points adrift of league leaders FK Rabotnicki, Pelister will not be celebrating their 80th anniversary with a title success, but the club founded as FK Omladina back in the 1920s will hope to lay the foundations for great footballing nights in the future by turning the Tumbe Kafe Stadium into a venue fit to host national team games.
With Skopje's Gradski Stadium in the process of a major overhaul, the floodlights from the old arena have been brought to Bitola as the start of a process of reconstruction. "People in Bitola deserve to watch European games," said the president of Pelister's board of directors Jovo Krstevski. "Bitola has given many players to the national so we should see F.Y.R. Macedonia play here."
Renovation work in Bitola will begin at the end of the season, while FK Vardar have already started running repairs as they approach the end of what has been a poor season by their standards. Fourth in the table, a point behind Pelister, the Skopje side have hired lawyer Vanco Sehtanski as their interim president and replaced coach Zoran Stratev with the 64-year-old Kiril Dojcinovski.
A former Yugoslavian international defender, Dojcinovski started his career at Vardar, going on to play for FK Crvena Zvezda and ES Troyes AC in France before coaching the likes of Greek side Iraklis FC and the El Salvador national team. After a draw and a defeat in his first two games, he finally earned a win at the third time of asking as his side beat FK Renova 3-1 at the weekend.
However, the new coach does not want to be judged until next season. "We have got a lot to do before we can get Vardar back to winning ways, he explained. "We must make a lot of corrections and after the end of season we must take another look at our squad list. After that I hope that we will achieve better results." Vardar's arch-rivals Rabotnicki need four points from their remaining six games to take the title and remain on target for a domestic double.
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