Zeljko Delic : « A dream come true »
We met Zeljko Delic, Belgrade Red Star manager whose club is going to face Millom in the Challenge Cup this sunday.
That’s an historic moment for your club, are you ready for this Challenge Cup first round ?
We’re as ready as we can be. We’ve arranged all of the logistics, trained very hard on fitness and skills, prepared our players physically and mentally, and now we just need to complete the journey, and the mission on the pitch.
What does it mean to play such a competition ?
It’s a dream come true to play in such an iconic competition.The fairy-tale of this cup is still alive, almost 125 years after it was first played. Just to be among the clubs that have competed in the Challenge Cup is an honour.
How did the team prepare for this game ?
Due to the date of the fixture, we basically had no time to rest after the end of the 2018 season and got straight into preparations. The wintry conditions have limited what we’ve been able to do outside, but we’ve had the boys doing fitness&conditioning sessions in small groups with a top local trainer, and we’ve been doing ball and positioning work in a five-a-side dome in the city. Most of the boys have been training five times a week with the club, plus their personal training in their own time. I can say that we’ve never been fitter at this time of the year.
What are your goals for this first appearance ?
To win and advance to Round Two. That won’t be easy, of course. Regardless of the ‘level’, we’re coming from a raw development area and Millom is an established heartland area, and so ingrained knowledge of the game could be a factor – particularly if the weather is bad. As our coach, Brett Davidson, has said: « We’re going to the big show and we’re going to put on a show ».