Istria’s only first tier football team continues its historic streak of matches without victory. In the first 3 rounds of the 2016/17 season the team has already accumulated 2 losses and one draw. The draw was a 1:1 against the Lokomotiva Zagreb at the Aldo Drosina Stadium this past Sunday, July 31, 2016. It was the first match with new coach Goran Tomić and at least the players showed a will to win. Another thing which makes fans optimistic for a first victory after some 30 official matches is that some decent players have joined the club over the summer. What also makes the lack of success more bearable is that some of the new players in Pula come from the Istrian peninsula and that the U-19 team now has a reputable coach.
The non-existent youth scouting, plan and system allows for kids of friends, relatives and neighbours of the youth coaches and former and current club officials to spend some 5-6 years adding new layers to their well hidden talent, while the youth coaches all move back and forth from youth team to youth team every 3-6 months. Every time they move to another youth category, they bring along their ideas, which usually don’t have much in common with what the previous coach was preaching. Luckily, there are few real talents in each of the categories that have learned to endure and ignore them. In the defence of the youth coaches, if they had clear structures and knew who they have to answer to and for what, most of them would likely do a much better job.
In other Istra 1961 news, the not so new American owners of the club have chosen NIKE as the official equipment supplier, the sandwich-gate affair is settled, while NIKE-gate is open, but we don’t have any publishable details so far, also one of the best players of the past few years, Marcel Heister, has left the team for Beitar Jerusalem.
If you are on vacation in Istria and want to see a home match, on Sunday, August 14 Slaven Belupo is in town. Good tickets cost someHRK40. In the morning of the same day you can watch some Croatian top tier youth football for free. At 10am the U15 team of Istra 1961 will kick off their season against Sesvete, while the U17 are set to play against the same opponent at 11:30am.