As the second half of the Croatian football is set to get underway, Rijeka are looking to improve on their impressive start to the season.
After a 22-day break, players of Rijeka Football Club gathered yesterday for the start of the preparation period for the second half of the Croatian First Division season. After the training session was over, main coach Matjaž Kek and sports director Srećko Juričić hold a press conference and presented their expectations for the new football season, reports Novilist on January 12, 2016.
“We have managed to keep most players from last year, and therefore I believe that we still have a competitive team. Moises and Jugović have left the team, but we have managed to get two good players, Kajević and Brezovec. We are very pleased to have Brezovec back again with us, since he has demonstrated that he is a high-quality player. As far as the training camp in Dubai is concerned, we will take there more young players than we have done in the previous years. I hope and believe that at least some of them will impress the coach”, said Juričić.
“We have had many inquiries for some of our players, but I will not go into that, since they are still just unofficial contacts”, added Juričić. “We had an offer for Anas Sharbini from China, but the transfer did not happen.” Sharbini reportedly refused to go to China, although both he and Rijeka would make quite a lot of money. Rijeka is also trying to sign Radošević who currently plays for Napoli. Apparently, almost everything has been agreed, and Rijeka will pay half a million euros in damages immediately, and the remaining half a million likely in instalments. “Negotiations about Radošević are in the final stages, we are close to an agreement”, said Juričić. He also presented the general goals for the team in the next season. They want to be among the top three teams in the Croatian First Division and then try to qualify for the group phase of the UEFA Europa League.
Team coach Matjaž Kek has somewhat more ambitious goals for 2016. “Srećko talked about goals. I have only one goal – I want to create a team which can defeat anyone. When you add it all up, it means that I want to be the champion. The first place is the goal of each and every coach, and I will set this goal for the team”, said Kek.
“The transfer window has just opened. You have seen the list of players who are with the team now, some of them will leave, some others will come. As far as this phase is concerned, the only difference is the fact that we are at home. We do not need to go anywhere for now, but Dubai will be a good opportunity to promote the club, to present Rijeka to the world. We have enough good players. My aim is for Rijeka to play as well as we played in mid-autumn, when we were powerful and dominant and showed that we can play modern football”, concluded Kek.