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interview with the former U21 manager, Martin Novoselac (on uefa.com)
http://www.uefa.com/footballcentral/news/Kind=4/newsId=283663.html

Croatia's teams of tomorrow
Despite a population of only four million, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has never had too much difficulty in finding enough talented players to man the national team. For the last decade, Croatia have remained among Europe's top teams, thanks in part to their youth programmes.

Limited resources
While Croatia has nothing like the resources, in terms of finance or raw talent, than the likes of Italy, France and Germany, the former Yugoslav republic has none the less continued to produce a regular crop of quality players. And that is down in part to the work of Martin Novoselac.

Early start
The coach has been working with young players in Croatia for 15 years and is now the technical director for youth football at the HNS. "The most important thing in football education is to get the child involved with a football club early as possible," Novoselac told uefa.com. "Then there is a much better chance of them becoming a world-class player in the future."

Regional level
Work with young players in Croatia is split into several different levels, with the most important work being done at the lowest, regional level. Novoselac works closely with assistants in five regions - Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek and Varazdin - who are his eyes and ears when it comes to scouting.

Important deputies
"Marijan Brncic, Ivan Gudelj, Sreten Cuk, Ivica Grnja and Stanislav Vugrinec are our coaches in these regional centres and they are very important people," said Novoselac. "They are part of our educational process and help us to keep an eye on the best players." The result has been a national team able to compete with the best.

Finals appearances
"Our senior national team has secured a place at four of the last five major finals tournaments [only missing out on UEFA EURO 2000™]," said Novoselac. "It's proof that we are doing a good job. Our job is to prepare young players for the senior national team. There is no profit in youth football - only in senior teams - but it is kind of self-financing. When the senior team brings money in for the HNS, then the money can be partly invested in the youth teams."

Recent successes
With great players at a premium, securing a handful of good international players from a generation is a major success for Novoselac. "If we get three particularly good players in one generation, it's a great success," he said. "The last players we produced are Niko Kranjcar, Darijo Srna and Marko Babic."

Player dossiers
Like all of their predecessors, those three were closely monitored throughout their development with an HNS dossier. "Every player has got his own detailed card featuring all of his qualities and weaknesses. This allows us to contact their clubs and direct them what to do with each player," said Novoselac.

Club co-operation
"We couldn't do anything without the clubs, so we need to have excellent relations with them," added the 54-year-old, who played for FK Vojvodina, NK Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos CFP as well as the Yugoslavian national team.

Further work
Novoselac is hoping that clubs will learn to do even more for their young charges. "Clubs should adapt to young players - at the moment it is the players who have to adjust to clubs," he said. "HNS president Vlatko Markovic and secretary Zorislav Srebric are helping us encourage this - they know it is crucial for Croatian football."
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Croatia has always had a very good youth teams both at international and club level. Look at the U21's...it was said to be the weakest generation ever and look at them in qualifiers, both U19's and U17's qualified in group play. Novoselac, Bilic, Grnja, Gudelj are all doing a great job even though the HNS treats our youth teams like shit :thmbdown:
 

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Just another ignorant writer.

"While Croatia has nothing like the resources, in terms of finance or raw talent, than the likes of Italy, France and Germany"

Not finances but our raw talent is better than all these mentioned. Much better than France and Germany has no business being in the sentence.
 

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You see this kind of ignorance all the time. In terms of raw talent you can debate who has the most but IMO the only Europeans that should be considered besides us are the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Serbs.
 

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Holy cow, doesn't this Novoselac guy look like Karadzic?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
speaking of the youth, does anybody know all of these players...


I know #3 is Leon Benko, but I don't recognize any of the others.. :confused:
 

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HajdukSplit said:
speaking of the youth, does anybody know all of these players...


I know #3 is Leon Benko, but I don't recognize any of the others.. :confused:
Isn't the number 5 Luka Vučko?
 

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Karadzic is responsible for Croatia's talented footballers! -- Now that's an unusual statement :pp
 

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nice little article...less innaccuracies than in most uefa.com stuff..
 

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Bosanac said:
Karadzic is responsible for Croatia's talented footballers! -- Now that's an unusual statement :pp
Because of him our youth teams played badly.:(
 

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Yeah, his suicide tactics of playing all out attack no matter what the situation is didn't work when it most mattered..

What is his role supposed to be for the NT anyway? I remember him being talked about as a trener or something like that. So he isn't just a regular assistant coach?
 

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You talking about Novoselac?

Suicide tactics? Hardly. How many scoring chances did opposing teams get? I watched all three games and the other teams rarley crossed into Croatia's half at the Euro's. The problem was that they scored on their few chances while our guys missed like crazy. If your team creates way more scoring chances than it gives up then their is nothing wrong with the tactics. More likely our players weren't good enough. Since most of those players are now at Dinamo...it proves it.:D
 
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