The Black Stars coach was in optimistic mood when he spoke to www.ghanafa.org just hours ahead of his unveiling as the new coach of Ghana.
Milovan Rajevac’s first stint as a national coach begins with Ghana. It promises to be a very special occasion for Ghana’s new boss as he hopes to see Ghana go much better than his compatriot, Ratomir Dujkovic, who qualified and guided the Black Stars to a round of 16 place at their debut World Cup finals in Germany two years ago.
The 54-year-old has now been tasked with securing for Ghana a second successive World Cup appearance.
Speaking exclusively to www.ghanafa.org's Nana Obiri Yeboah and Michael Boateng, Rajevac reflected on the challenges ahead, his motivation and targets.
Q: Congratulations for getting the Ghana job.
A: Thank you very much.
Q: How did you receive the news of your appointment?
A: I felt very good and proud to be the coach of Ghana. Ghana is a top team in Africa and their position on the FIFA rankings clearly tells that Ghana is a top football nation. I’m very, very happy and proud to associate myself with the national team of Ghana.
Q: How difficult was it for you to leave Borac after leading them from bottom of the league to the UEFA Cup competition?
A: It was an emotional day for me last Thursday when I bid the club farewell during the UEFA Cup match. The fans loved and didn’t want to me to go. Officially it was my last game but I was not on the bench. I observed it from the stands and after the match, it was very emotional.
Q: What motivated you to accept the Ghana offer?
A: I could have gone to other African countries. Also I had a very good offer in my former club. But I chose Ghana because the condition here. I have been impressed with what I saw Ghana achieve during the 2006 World Cup. Ghana has a talented pool of players who have the desire to win and I am also motivated to win something. And there’s another World Cup qualification going on which I want to be part of as a coach of Ghana in South Africa.
Q: Were you inspired by the achievements of you compatriot, Ratomir Dujkovic?
A: Yes. He did very well when he was here and that inspired me. He achieved a historical here band that was one of the reasons I am here. I want to emulate him.
Q: Have you spoken to him since your appointment?
Yes, I have. I spoke to him briefly on telephone. It was not a lengthy conversation. Doya is a friend; I played with him at Red Star in Belgrade.
Q: And what did Dujkovic tell you about the challenge in Ghana?
A: He said Ghanaians are very passionate about football and the Ghanaian footballer is very talented. I have confirmed that myself by watching Ghanaian players on DVDs.
Q: How are bracing yourself up for a national team appointment with the Ghana job being your first?
A: I have played for the national team before so I know how it is to work with national team players. Also, I have a wealth of experience from coaching clubs. I have been coaching consistently over the years so I carry into this new job a wealth of experience. To be honest, the job of a national team coach is less difficult than a club coach. From my own personal experience and from the experience of other coaches, a national team job is much more difficult compared to club work. In my former team, I brought my influence and discipline in the team and I will do same with the national team. To work with a talented team like Ghana is motivating because I believe we can go places.