Bundesliga News

Official:
Bjelica takes the reins at Union

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Bundesliga side 1. FC Union Berlin officially confirmed the installation of Nenad Bjelica as their new trainer on Sunday afternoon. 
Nenad Bjelica
Nenad Bjelica1. FC Union Berlin
Shortly after rumors about his hiring began to surface, Nenad Bjelica was confirmed as the new head-coach of 1. FC Union Berlin on Sunday afternoon. The 52-year-old former Croatian international returns to the Bundesrepublik for the first time since representing 1. FC Kaiserslautern as a player between 2000 and 2004. Since ending his active playing career, Bjelica has served as a head-coach for nine different clubs.


Bjelica will be joined by long-time assistant Danijel Jumic. Union also confirmed that, while interim trainer Marco Grote will be returning to the FCU U19s, the historic first-ever female assistant coach in Bundesliga history - Marie-Louise Eta - will remain on Bjelica's active staff for the time being. Eta may still return to the club's youth system once assistant Sebastian Bönig returns from personal leave.

Bjelica most recently coached Turkish club Trabzonspor Kulübü for a six-month-stint. The new FCU gaffer does have some Champions' League experience on his resumé thanks to time spent running Austria Wien and Dinamo Zagreb in his native Croatia. Union managing director Oliver Ruhnert made clear that this was taken into consideration whilst contemplating the new hire.

"I am convinced that Nenad Bjelica, with his many years of experience as a player and coach, is a good fit for our team," Ruhnert noted in a statement at the unveiling, "We will do everything we can to improve the sporting situation and successfully master the mission to stay in the league. I'm looking forward to working with him."

"Union is a very well-run club in one of the top leagues in Europe," Bjelica himself added, "My task is to lead the team out of a difficult phase and bring out its strengths again. I'm looking forward to this challenge. I want to see well-organised, active and dominant football and players who are prepared to take on responsibility. We will work on this together from now on."


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