As of today, Valdas Dambrauskas is no longer the coach of the HNK Hajduk first team. Mutual termination of cooperation was agreed upon. As a result, his assistants Marius Skinderis and Justinas Gasiunas are leaving with him, announced Hajduk.
In the coming period, the team will be led by coach Mislav Karoglan, who, as an assistant coach, participated in the work of the past two professional coaching staff. The Club will inform the public about his assistants.
Coach Dambrauskas took over the first team on November 2, 2021, and Hajduk played 38 official matches under his leadership, achieving 23 wins, eight draws, and seven losses. In total, he recorded 60.5% of victories, and if we look exclusively at league games, he won 71.1% of points. In his debut match, he won against Hrvatski Dragovoljac at Poljud 2:0, and his most significant victory was achieved recently in the championship match against Slaven Belupo, which Hajduk won 5:1.
He will be remembered as the coach who brought the first trophy to Poljud after nine years, defeating Rijeka in the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final. Until the end of last season, his team fought for both national trophies. The last time he led the team was in Šubićevac, where Hajduk drew 1:1 against Šibenik.
“We would like to thank coach Dambrauskas from the bottom of our hearts for the cooperation so far, and especially for the passion, knowledge, and energy shown by leading Hajduk, and we wish him the best of luck and success in the continuation of his coaching career,” said Hajduk.
Hajduk President Lukša Jakobušić publicly thanked the former coach and explained the reasons for this decision:
“Valdas Dambrauskas is no longer the coach of the first team, and in the coming period, the first team will be led by his former assistant Mislav Karoglan. Since his arrival, Valdas has brought energy and passion to the Club, and he subordinated his knowledge to Hajduk and created the atmosphere, and thus the game and the result. After a long time, Hajduk fought for trophies in the Cup and the championship. In the end, he succeeded. True, we finished in second place in the championship, but we won the Cup at Poljud. We all know what that means, and we’ve seen what it means to him. It is almost unimaginable for us that someone who was not born in this climate assimilates and connects with the Club in this way. Unfortunately, the atmosphere and energy we had at the end of last season did not translate into this season, and we were unable to follow the atmosphere and energy we have around the Club with performances and results on the pitch.
Most of the public knows what kind of relationship the sports director and I have with the coach. A relationship full of sincerity and respect. That alone made this decision more difficult for us. All three of us have always been guided by the Club’s interests, and this decision should be seen in that context.
The public has created an image that second place is a reality for us this season. Maybe that is true, but we will not and cannot be satisfied with that. Second place has yet to be won, and the Club must strive for the highest goals. I repeat, this decision should be viewed in that context because ours is not only to solve but also to anticipate problems.
I wish Valdas Dambrauskas all the luck in life, with the statistics that are almost impossible, the trophy he brought after many years, and his positive attitude, he showed that he loves this Club. Hajduk’s doors are always open to him.”
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