KS Dinamo Tirana have named a new coach after Argentinian Ramón Cabrero was shown the door after a few weeks, having failed to take his side into the UEFA Intertoto Cup second round. The new man in charge is 50-year-old Croatian Luka Bonacic.
Dinamo president Besnik Sulaj has built a strong coaching team around Bonacic, with club hero and former national coach Sulejman Demollari being appointed as assistant and ex-Football Association of Albania (FSF) official Mehdi Bushati nominated as general manager.
Nonetheless, the coach believes there is much work to do. "The players are completely out of shape," he said. "They go looking for water as soon as they move a little. They have to do some serious running in the next few weeks."
Newly-promoted KS Skënderbeu from Korce have taken on Mirel Josa, who coached KS Lushnja last season, while FK Partizani are expected to announce another former Albania coach, Neptun Bajko, as their new boss, following Sulejman Mema's elevation to the club vice-presidency.
Meanwhile, KS Vllaznia are looking for a new trainer after Dervish Hadziosmanovic was banned from football for one year by the FSF following a registration scandal. He had led KS Erzeni to the Albanian Futsal title in 2004/05 before taking charge at Vllaznia over the summer.
However, the FSF discovered that five Serbo-Montenegrin players in the Erzeni side were still registered with KMF CD Shop Mozart. With registration to two clubs being illegal, Erzeni were stripped of their crown, while Hadziosmanovic received a two-year suspension which was reduced on appeal.
The Albanian season kicks off on 21 August with the Super Cup match between KF Tirana and KS Teuta, and the First Division begins on 27 August. However, champions Tirana will be without Nevil Dede after their captain walked away from the club to rejoin KS Elbasani, where he played last term. "This team is a disaster," said the 30-year-old.
Finally, the FSF has decided to extend the top flight from ten to 12 teams for the 2006/07 campaign. Sides will play each other home and away, before being divided into six-team championship and relegation pools.
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