South Melbourne FC has promoted its 33 year old U 20s coach Sasa Kolman to the senior coach’s position at Lakeside just days after the termination of former coach Chris Taylor’s contract.

The Slovenian born Kolman was first appointed Youth coach at Lakeside in 2014, before departing for Europe to take up a job as youth coach at Spanish club Deportivo Alaves in 2016, followed by a return to Lakeside in 2017 to coach the U 20s team and also take up a role as assistant coach to Taylor for the senior team.

At 33 years of age, Kolman becomes one of the youngest senior coaches in the NPL 1 in season 2018. Apart from a brief stint as a senior coach in the Faroe Islands in 2012, this will be his first senior coaching gig in Australia. Whilst he may lack the experience of most of his NPL 1 counterparts, the powers at South are hoping that the appointment of the youthful coach with a UEFA Pro License, will be able to deliver continuing success to Lakeside whilst providing opportunities for the youth players to step up to senior level. An advantage of appointing a club insider such as Kolman, as opposed to a new coach from outside the club, is that Kolman, through his role as a former assistant to Taylor, will be familiar with the current squad, the pre-season program, and with South Melbourne’s NPL opponents.

SMFC club president Leo Athanasakis, speaking on the club website, said of the new coaching appointment, “Our objective at South Melbourne FC is to win titles and continue the strong history of success the club has. As a part of achieving this, our strategic direction is one which will continue to focus on building a closer working relationship between our youth and senior teams.”

“This will ensure the senior team philosophy and program is integrated at all levels of the club and appropriate opportunities are available at a senior level for our future stars.”

“The youth program has continued to improve over the years and we want to ensure our young players can take the next step to senior football at South Melbourne FC.”

“Sasa has been an integral part of both the youth and senior program for numerous years and we are excited to offer him a full-time position to be the senior team coach for the 2018 season.”

“As well as holding a UEFA Pro License, Sasa has a large amount of experience both as a player and coach throughout Europe, whilst also having an in depth understanding of the local game and our club. We welcome him to the role and wish him all the best for the upcoming season.”