Fenerbahçe SK have put their faith in Aykut Kocaman to lead them into the UEFA Champions League group stages after cancelling coach Christoph Daum's contract.
A Fenerbahçe player between 1988 and 1996, the 45-year-old Kocaman is much revered in Kadikoy. Although limited to a handful of international appearances he was only the fifth player to score 200 goals in Turkish football, 140 of them coming in 212 league games for Fenerbahçe.
The Yellow Canaries won titles in his first and final seasons at the club, and after spells coaching İstanbulspor AŞ, Malatyaspor, Konyaspor and Ankaraspor AŞ, he returned to the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium last summer to take up the post of director of football. His first challenge as coach will come at the end of July when Fenerbahçe kick off their UEFA Champions League campaign in the third qualifying round.
He inherits a side that came so near yet so far last term, a season of great hope that instead brought great frustration. The Istanbul outfit lost the Turkish Cup final to Trabzonspor AŞ and were in pole position in the Super League until the last day of the season when a 1-1 draw with Trabzonspor handed the title to unfancied Bursaspor. They also topped their UEFA Europa League group, only to be eliminated by LOSC Lille Métropole in the round of 32.
Kocaman's appointment confirms a premature end to Daum's second spell at the helm. The 56-year-old, who guided Fenerbahçe to two titles in his first spell between 2003 and 2006, returned to the club in June 2009 on a three-year contract. "
Fenerbahçe have always been a part of my life and they will remain so," said Daum. "I wish them all the best for their UEFA Champions League campaign."
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