The recently appointed Croatian specialist Ante Miše, head coach of the national team of Turkmenistan, gave an exclusive interview to "Turkmenportal". The conversation took place in Ashgabat, where was the presentation of the new head coaches of the national teames of Turkmenistan the day before. The meeting was also attended by the assistant of the head coach Sandro Tomić.
- What tasks has the Football Federation of Turkmenistan set for you?
- Our first goal is the development of Turkmen football, not just the national team. And for this we will try to make a programm. Currently, Turkmenistan has the main national men's and women's teams, the Olympic, youthful and youth teams. In the national championship there is only the Higher League, there is no second division and there is no youth championship for the age groups 15-16, 17-18 and 19-20 years. When we talked with Sandro Tomić, we discussed this. We attended the national championship match between "Ahal" and "Ashgabat". I would like to see 17-year-old young football-players on the field for being a progress in football.
Of course, we will try to get the Turkmenistan national team to the World Cup. Turkmen football-players have never participated in this tournament, and we will try to do everything to correct the current situation. There are many excellent, strong teams in Asia such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates. We want to get closer to the level of these teams for being able to play with them as equals.
- Have you already make a work plan with the national team of Turkmenistan? Will it include friendly matches?
- We are already looking for future rivals to hold friendly matches on the official days of FIFA - June 6 and June 10, 2019.
- Will it be strong rivals?
- We will proceed from the one who agrees to play against the national team of Turkmenistan. First we must see the team. We are planning to play the first friendly match with a stronger opponent than our team and check the line of defense in this game, see what defense players are capable of. In the second game, the opponent will most likely be of our level, in a match with which you can see the full potential of the national team.
- By what principle will you choose your assistant among Turkmen specialists?
- We will begin tomorrow to talk with some candidates among Turkmen specialists. Sandro Tomić will be the senior coach in the national team. He will also serve as a goalkeeping coach. We need a young goalkeeping coach, perhaps someone who recently completed a career who will learn from Sandro Tomić. After we leave here, this coach will stay here and be useful to you. In addition to him the team needs another assistant coach, physical training coach and analyst. As a result, we will have 3 local specialists in the coaching staff, not counting the analyst.
- Before agreeing to work in Turkmenistan, you probably watched the games of the national team of Turkmenistan on the Internet. What impression did the game of Turkmen football-players make on you?
- We watched about five matches of the national team of Turkmenistan, including the last three at the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates. We also saw games against Singapore and Yemen. So we have some ideas of the team and the players.
- In Turkmenistan, there have been cases when naturalized football-players from Georgia and Ukraine played for the national team of Turkmenistan. Are you going to naturalize any of the Croatian football-players so that they can play for Turkmenistan?
- The national team is not a team of commercial interests. The national team is for people from this country. There is a football-player, Filip Ozobić, who plays for "Qarabağ" in Azerbaijan, he is 27 years old. As far as I know, he wants to get the citizenship of Azerbaijan. In my opinion if some Croatian player or a conditional football-player from Spain will in the future play in the Higher League of Turkmenistan, for example, for more than 5 years and he will play great, then this is probably possible.
-What can you promise to Turkmen football fans? What result can the national team of Turkmenistan expect under your leadership in the qualifying tournament of the 2020 World Cup?
- First of all, we need the support of fans. This also applies to the mass media, support us! It takes time to come to growth. We do not have a magic wand, like in the film about Harry Potter, in order to make the national team of Turkmenistan start playing at a high level right away. There will be a lot of hard work, a lot of communication with clubs and football-players. On Sunday, I fly to Bishkek for the AFC Cup 2019 match between "Altyn Asyr" and "Dordoi", during which I will have to watch 16 players of "Altyn Asyr" and one Turkmen legionary, who playing for "Dordoi". Sandro Tomić will stay in Ashgabat and will view calendar matches of the championship of Turkmenistan until I will not be here.
- In what language will you communicate in the national team? Is there a translator in the staff?
- Sandro Tomić speaks Russian very well, understands everything. Perhaps one of the assistant trainers will be the one who is fluent in English. Communication in football is not difficult, football people understand each other. The language of football is universal. I am will practice Russian language every day. If it is difficult to translate, then, of course, a translator will appear in the staff.